New Mexican restaurant to celebrate grand opening in downtown Farmington

It’s not the easiest time to open a restaurant. With current capacity restrictions at 25 percent due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s even more difficult.

That’s not stopping David and Jamil Azar. The brothers and restauranteurs have been slowly rolling out the opening of Masa Mexican Street Food, a new fast-casual restaurant in downtown Farmington.

Soon, it will become official. A grand opening to celebrate the new restaurant is scheduled for Tuesday, March 2. While the pandemic limits their ability to have a party, the restaurant will celebrate by offering $2 tacos, $2 margaritas and beers, and a prize raffle.

“Masa was created for our love of tacos and our love of Farmington. We’ve been wanting to open a quick-casual restaurant for Farmington, the area, and even ourselves,” says David. The Azars also own and operate Basement Burger Bar and the 1 UP Bar and Arcade in downtown Farmington.

“These are tacos from different regions of Mexico. A lot of the meats are slow-baked. And it’s not just chorizo and al pastor — we have those, too. But it’s also others that are more unique. And we’re branching out with different street corns, breakfast burritos, ceviche, tostadas.”

It’s been a gradual opening for the restaurant, hampered by COVID-19 and its effects on business. But the Azars have taken a slow and steady approach to opening and now it’s here.

A soft opening has allowed for take-out orders and alcoholic drinks to be sold to-go; Masa is part of The Syndicate social district. Among their offerings are margaritas, frozen margaritas, Modelo on tap, bottled beers, and cocktails.

David says that the Syndicate has helped with sales as COVID-19 wears on. And it’s the pandemic that has helped to reinforce the Azars’ belief in the importance of community.

“We were hoping to have a party but it’s tough getting people together right now. But we’ve hired some really wonderful staff. We really appreciate the staff at all our stores,” David says.

“COVID has been tough on all our staff. It shows us how much they really mean to us. I just want to give a shout out and tell them how much it means to us.”

Masa Mexican Street Food is located at 23310 Farmington Rd. in downtown Farmington.

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MJ Galbraith is a writer and musician living in Detroit. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.