Urban Tacos, a Gourmet Taco and Salsa Bar, Coming to Central Phoenix

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Gourmet tacos and signature salsas are coming to Central Phoenix in January by way of a new restaurant called Urban Tacos.

The project of Valley native Tim Perkins, owner of the defunct Timothy Michael's Hideaway in Phoenix, Urban Tacos will be located at 6522 North 16th Street (formerly Europa Pastry Cafe) at 16th Street and Maryland Avenue.

"I've been looking at the area for a long time -- a lot of great restaurants have been going in there" says Perkins, a 35-year veteran of the food and beverage industry. "I'm not trying to be a traditional Mexican restaurant -- I'm going to be putting my own spin on things."

See also: Lakeside Cafe, Bar, and Patio Opens in Tempe

Perkins says the idea to open a taco shop was inspired by the numerous taco stands across the Valley as well as raves from family and friends about his homemade salsas.

"We're going to make our own chips," Perkins tells me. "We don't have the space to make our own tortillas, but we'll source them locally, like a lot of our other ingredients."

Although Perkins is still working on the menu, diners can expect an ever-changing array of salsas that might include habenero, a smoked pecan crema, and a green chile and cilantro aioli. Tacos, priced at $2.50 and $4.50, may feature creations such as beer battered shrimp with jicama, avocado, and cucumber salsa; pork belly with a hatch chile demi glace and green chile potato; and marinated and grilled octopus with onions, poblano, and a chimichurri salsa.

The menu will also offer a selection of tostadas, burritos, quesadillas, and soups as well as margaritas, wine, and beer.

Designed by Perkins' wife Lisa, who describes the look as "industrial chic," Urban Tacos' 2,000-square-foot space will seat around 45.

Perkins tells me he hopes to open by the middle of January. For more details, go to the restaurant's website or follow Urban Tacos on Facebook.

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