Sergio and Lindsey De Los Santos have opened Zocálo, 418 S. Tejon St., serving tacos and other Mexican food specialties.

Zocálo means gathering place and is the name of the main central areas in Mexican cities. Sergio is an award-winning chef from Mexico City who has been featured on the Cooking Channel and Food Network. The couple also own Sergio’s Cantina and 1910 Bar in the Chicago area.

“Our son, Christian, went to college here and has settled here. We missed him,” Sergio said.

“We wanted to be near him. ... He told us we need to open a Mexican food restaurant in the Springs.”

Christian De Los Santos has ties to the local restaurant community. He was the former bar manager at Almagre Venue + Bar.

Sergio is proud of his authentic Mexican dishes. And it’s easy to see why when you taste the food. The chile relleno ($5.50) is the-real-deal, Mexican-style battered and fried poblano, oozing with melted Chihuahua cheese and topped with zesty, flavorful tomato sauce. The enchilada ($4) is classic with a small, rolled corn tortilla filled with cheese and topped with dark, red salsa, chopped onions and sour cream. Sergio is especially pleased with his carnitas taco ($4). filled with slowly braised pork, onion, cilantro and super spicy red salsa.

“The pork is pink because it is tenderized with salt,” he said. “Just the way the carnitas is made in Mexico City.”

The El Clasico ($9) margarita is a perfectly balanced mix of tequila, orange liquor, lime and agave syrup, served in a salt-rimmed glass over crushed ice. There’s a full bar with a wide range of tequilas and mezcals.

Lindsey gets credit for the fun beach-vibe interior. There are swings at some counters, a longboard leaning against the pergola over the bar and basket lights overhead.

The eatery is anchored with a vintage VW van in the back, which is the cashier post.

“We purchased the van on Facebook Market,” Lindsey said. “We had it painted and put ordering counters out in the windows. It’s the first time we’ve used a van in a restaurant.

Hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 11 a.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays.

“We will be starting brunch after the new year,” Lindsey said.

Details: 719-344-8392, facebook.com/ZocaloCOS

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Chef promotion

Kelley McCann has been promoted to executive sous chef at the Garden of the Gods Resort and Club, 3320 Mesa Road. He joined the resort April 13, 2021, as chef de cuisine and was promoted to resort outlet chef in March of this year.

He was previously with The Broadmoor hotel, Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia as executive chef and executive chef at Galatoire’s Bistro in Louisiana. He is known for his creative seasonal cooking, using local ingredients and artistically placing food on plates.

The Grand View dining room is open to the public. Hours are 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. daily for breakfast, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays for brunch, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily for lunch, and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. daily for dinner. Reservations at tinyurl.com/28z7pfeh.

Grand View New Year’s events open to the public include: New Year’s Eve dinner 7 p.m. to 1 a.m Saturday. For $125, plus 20% service charge and tax, you get a six-course dinner and live music. There’s also a New Year’s Day brunch, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. For $89 and $35 for children 4 to 12, plus 20% service charge and tax, you get a spectacular brunch buffet. Reservations made under events & holidays on opentable.

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Sunday bubbles

Homa Cafe + Bar, 415 S. Nevada Ave., offers $10 bottles of bubbly for mimosas on Sundays Fundays with food purchases every Sunday. Hours are 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Details: 719-245-0046, homacafe.com

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Year of the rabbit

The Colorado Springs Chinese Culture Institute will have the Chinese New Year Festival at City Auditorium, 221 E. Kiowa St., from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 21.

General admission at the door is $6, cost for students, military and seniors 65 and up is $5, and children 5 and under are free. There will be Chinese and Asian entertainment, the taste of Asian foods, a teahouse and a Chinatown marketplace.

Organizers are accepting vendors for the marketplace and tasting booths. To register as a vendor, email mali.cscci@gmail.com.

Contact the writer: 636-0271.

contact the writer: 636-0271.

Food editor

Food writer for features life section and columnist for Go! Entertainment - Table Talk column

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