The Sam Hughes “vibe” will continue when Borderlands Brewing Company opens its second location — this time with a kitchen — later this year.
Borderlands Brewing Company owner and CEO Es Teran and chef Maria Mazon of Boca Tacos y Tequila are partnering to open the destination spot.
“It’s Borderlands with a kitchen,” Mazon explained. “It will be Mexican cuisine, brunch, lunch, dinner, a little bit of everything.”
The project, which came about organically, is set to open in the former historic 66 gas station at 2500 E. Sixth Street. Teran’s wheels started spinning when he found out the lease was up for PJ’s Subs, which occupied the ex-filling station.
“You know how you sit around with your friends and say, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool to open a restaurant or bar?’” Teran said rhetorically. “Well, we already own a bar and restaurant.”
Mazon said the location is perfect for the pedestrians and bicyclists in the neighborhood of University of Arizona students, professors, young families, professionals and senior citizens.
Community is important to Teran and Mazon, who are promoting a comfortable, casual, hangout atmosphere for friends, families and their canine companions.
Teran said the team is awaiting city permits to start construction, however, they’re hoping it will open by September.
“There’s a lot of work, and construction is in high demand,” Teran said. “The place needs improvements.”
However, Mazon said they want to keep some of the integrity of the historic filling station and improve upon the space to ensure the comfort of guests.
“We want to keep the Sam Hughes vibe,” Mazon said of the new place. “It is about the neighborhood and community.”
Mazon — a two-time James Beard Award nominee, (2020, 2022) and season 18 “Top Chef” contestant (2018) — said she will not feature her Boca tacos and salsas. Borderlands’ menu will have locally sourced ingredients with a Mexican flair.
“We support other local businesses,” Mazon said. “There is a little sunshine for everyone. Competition is a good thing.”
The two want to blend Mexican and Arizona cultures through Mazon’s menu items. Borderlands’ brews, as well as other beers, wine and cocktail ingredients, will be sourced from the Grand Canyon State and Mexico. Creative margaritas are key.
“That’s why it is named Borderlands,” Teran said. “We will have 15 taps to showcase other beers, other than our own. Arizona beers and Mexican beers and cocktails with local and regional ingredients.”
Mazon and Teran have similar backgrounds. Mazon hails from Tucson, but was raised in Sonora, Mexico. Teran was born in Hermosillo, Sonora, and grew up in Tucson.
“We are the yin and yang,” Mazon said of the two friends.
They agree their new endeavor will be a friendly, all-inclusive neighborhood family hangout.
“As a mom, I want a neighborhood place to hangout for the entire family,” she said.