Bar San Pancho, a Cal-Mexican Cantina, Coming to the Chino Space in April

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The former Chino dining room. Photo courtesy of Chino.

After the unfortunate closure of Chino (there was a lot I liked there), the Tacolicious team is back at it again with the latest concept for the Mission space: ~BAR SAN PANCHO~. Partner Joe Hargrave tells me it’s going to be a Cal-Mexican cantina, with “simple food, game always on, great service, always early to late, a dozen or so beers on tap and 8-10 really simple house cocktails focused on fresh and seasonal juices, a really nice mix of preparadas and wines. A supereasy place that I’ve been thinking about for a long time that I finally pulled the trigger on.” It’s due to open in early April.

A look at a preliminary menu (subject to change!) includes a range of botanas, like cóctel de camarón, MF hot wings (and MF hotter wings, for those of you who want to go there), plus a few tacos, like chile relleno tacos and tacos al charro, with crunchy achiote-rubbed chicken, habanero salsa, chopped lettuce, and cumin crema.

Tortas will be glorious gut bombs—some potential picks include a “HamburQueso,” a chile con queso-stuffed burger, plus a torta with pierna enchilada (always so good), and milanesa de San Pancho (crispy chicken, avocado, poblanos, pepper jack, pickled onions), or you can go vegetarian with fried eggplant, salsa enchilada, goat cheese, and sweet onions. And they will all come with ancho fries.

What are these preparadas Hargrave speaks of? How about cervezas preparadas! You’ll be able to get a Tacolicious brew—a Mexican pilsner made with SF Brewing Co.—as a chelada (lime, chile salt), or michelada picante (arbol chile vinegar, lime, Maggi), and a couple of other options too. Look for seven or so cocktails (simple, fresh juices), a couple of slushie cocktails, and some really cool beers on draft, like one from Cerveceria Insurgente in Tijuana, Mexico (again, possible but not final). Look for a friendly and familiar face behind the bar, Manny Ramirez from Tacolicious.

The space is being renovated and will feature a long bar with 20 seats, and there will be communal, chunky blond wood tables. Some counter-height stools will create a convivial atmosphere too. While this isn’t a sports bar per se, the team wants to have some flat-screen TVs to play the game, and bonus, you’ll be able to have some tasty food and drinks without all that cliché sports bar atmosphere.

They’re also going to paint the brick wall white, and look for a graphic mural of San Pancho. Speaking of, the name San Pancho is a fun play on San Francisco, in case you didn’t catch it: Pancho is a nickname for Francisco (aka Francis). Which gives you an idea of the fun they want to have here.

Early April is the targeted opening, and the team is busy with their other projects as well, including Taco Lab San Miguel de Allende, due in late April; the move of Tacolicious Chestnut a couple of blocks away, which will also become a 2.0 version in late May/early June; and then Tacolicious Santana Row opening in June/July. 3198 16th St. at Guererro.