BOCA Tacos y Tequila will bid farewell to its current location on Speedway Boulevard on Sunday, July 30, relocating to a new spot on Fourth Avenue the following day.
BOCA is one of the most popular and successful Mexican restaurants in Tucson. Its proximity to the UA and downtown paired with its authentic Sonoran cuisine has created a large following — one that voted BOCA the best tacos in Tucson Weekly’s annual contest.
BOCA’s owner and chef Maria Mazon is looking forward to the change. She sees the relocation of her business to Fourth Avenue, in the former space of Delectables, as an opportunity for BOCA to grow — while still keeping the character it developed since opening almost eight years ago.
Plans for Boca’s relocation began when Mazon’s landlord informed her that the space was going to be sold to make way for new student housing development. The landlord wanted to continue to work with Mazon and make sure that BOCA remained as successful as before, so they collaborated to find a new location and make the smoothest transition possible.
Despite the unexpected nature of it all, there are no negative feelings about the relocation. Mazon said that any type of change is good. She can further her vision of BOCA to better serve the Tucson community.
She is confident that this move will not affect her business negatively, especially since BOCA will be relatively close to its previous location.
Regarding the new Hub student housing tower that will occupy the space where her restaurant is now, Mazon sees it as progression of the economy.
“I mean, it’s good for the city in terms of business, you know, bringing money to the city,” Mazon said. “I’m guessing that if they’re building it, it’s because the UA needs it, there’s a market for it and the more the merrier.”
Mazon said that she got lucky with the new location on Fourth Avenue because it doesn’t require extensive changes; she just needs to add her personal touch and style to distinguish the new BOCA from the former Delectables.
“That’s what I’m doing right now,” Mazon said. “Changing licenses, moving this, meeting with painters, and doing it in two, three weeks which is bananas.”
While the menu will retain the classic favorites, Mazon wants to add more entrées and specials to fill the potential of a larger restaurant space.
“I just want to take a feel of Fourth Ave and just see what it’s all about, and see what it needs or doesn’t need and just play along,” Mazon said.
Mazon said that the atmosphere of the Speedway location will be transferred to the new space on Fourth Avenue. She said the color scheme of black, gray and silver will stay.
Mazon describes her restaurant’s ambiance as gourmet food with a flip-flop feel.
“[It’s] wearing flip-flops and being relaxed while still getting top dollar for your food,” she said. “It’s good food [and] of course it can be expensive, but to be able to show Mexican cuisine in a relaxed environment.”
Although Mazon looks forward to having a larger space and a chance to expand her restaurant, she will also miss some aspects of BOCA that bring sentimental value.
“[I will miss] everything. I started here. Are you kidding me? I mean everything about it, the nostalgia of your first restaurant. I know it’s just a building, I mean it’s like your parents selling your first childhood home.”
Mazon feels that her customers reacted well to the news of relocation and showed some much-appreciated support.
She said people know who she is and she has confidence that her regulars will follow.
“It’s been nothing but positive and good vibes and rooting for us and I mean, that alone is a big relief because at least we’re doing something right.”
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