Two restaurants are pairing up in a novel kind of time-share where they each serve their distinctive dishes out of one small space. It’s all about timing. By day, newcomer Tequila House Mexican restaurant serves breakfast and lunch and caters out of a small commercial building at 3009 Gosworth Rd., at Cedar Hill Road.
Then, at 4 p.m, a switch-over takes place when Gosworth Fish and Chips opens.
Kel Martin said his restaurant in the Gosworth building, which he purchased 11 years ago, takes up about 650 square feet.
A third business, Abby Sprouts, an eco-baby and children’s store, is also in the building but has a space of its own.
Because fish and chips were a staple at that location since the early 1960s, Martin stuck with that cuisine. “I have the nicest customers,” he says.
But the restaurant business these days is challenging, prompting Martin to seek out a tenant for mornings and afternoons to save money by sharing costs.
The shared arrangement suits the Solis family, who moved to Canada six years ago from Acapulco, where they ran a restaurant.
Prior to moving into the Gosworth building, they had a catering business on Goldstream Avenue. They used a rented kitchen in a church but wanted to be closer to downtown to serve offices.
Tequila House opened in Saanich in November. Hours are 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
The fish-and-chip restaurant is open daily.
Each business has its own refrigerator, dishes and cutlery, and each operator leaves the place spotless for the other.
Patrons of both restaurants are used to take-out because there is seating for only about a dozen people.
Menus are written on blackboards.
One board lists Mexican dishes such as churros, huevos rancheros, guacamole, enchiladas, tostadas, quesadillas, and burritos. Coffee is spiced.
Daily specials can include cochinita pibil with slow-cooked marinated pork wrapped in a banana leaf, prepared according to Ronald Solis’s grandmother’s recipe.
Lunches are $9.90.
Martin’s board includes cod or basa ($3), halibut ($4.50), small order of chips ($2.40), large chips ($3.50), pizzas ranging from $7 to $12, mushy peas ($1.50) and onion rings ($3).
Solis and his wife, Mayte, arrive every morning at 5 a.m. to prepare Mexican recipes using fresh ingredients. Fish dishes are favourites.
Mayte is a master of salsa, creating different styles for particular dishes, as well as homemade chorizo sausage, including a vegetarian version. The couple is helped by daughters, Cristell, 18, who studies science at the University of Victoria, and Mayte, 16, who is in Grade 11.
“We are very organized with the space,” Mayte said. Cristell said the restaurant wants to hear requests from customers.
Martin is one of Tequila House’s biggest fans. “Their food is delicious. My favourite is the last one [Ronald] made,” he said with a laugh.
At times, large catering jobs have led to an overlap in the kitchen, but things have always managed to work out. “We help each other,” Martin said.
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