Do You Smell What Casita’s Cooking?…Well You Will Soon

Casita Taqueria is a Burg bastion of good vibes, artisan tacos and cold beer. The beloved local staple was bumped out of its location when Trader Joe’s set its gaze on 4th Street. What is 4th Street’s loss is Grand Central’s gain. Owner’s Don and Gwen Arvin have been endeavoring to reopen. The style, the space and the conception of their Central Ave. restaurant boasts the very same aura that acted as a foodie magnet when it first opened in 2010. 

The iconic skull design, Casita’s own bat signal, is prominently displayed in the center of a rustic wall made of chestnut lumber. The design harbors the hand painted, hand crafted antique sundries that personify the arts district. The decor is the perfect blend of steam punk and western with a luchador twist that compliments the lime, pineapple salsa singe of their most famous their dishes.

The restaurant is still under construction, a tomato red Coca Cola sign leans against the door to the kitchen and an iron inlay of dots shaped into an X marks the bar. The tables are covered in masks, skeleton dolls, mirrors and vintage signs. The scattered affects slowly find their perfect positions as if cast as pieces in a Wes Anderson film. The restaurant will have its own parking lot which is as good as gold considering the sprawl that Central can become. Casita will be pet friendly and as construction continues the owner’s plan on adding a garden in the back.

"The Grand Central District is a great area, it’s like a whole new family down here. The association and all of the businesses thriving down here have been incredibly supportive. Now that we’ve been inaugerated we’re just hoping to get this place up and running" said owner Don Arvin. The St. Pete community shares his desire. Our stomachs have a need for fresh Pescado Tacos and Veggie Casita Bowls. 

Their grand opening is still a couple weeks away but stay tuned to their Facebook and I Love The Burg for announcements regarding an official opening date. You’ll be nomming before June. Casita Taqueria 2663 Central Avenue. 

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Written by Brian Bailey

Brian Bailey is the founder and editor of I Love the Burg and That's So Tampa. In addition to regular contributions to each blog, he's been featured as a commentator to Bay New 9, The Tampa Tribune, The Tampa Bay Times, The Tampa Bay Business Journal and The Business Observer as well as national outlets including The Huffington Post and The Wall Street Journal. Bailey also serves as the CEO of, a Tampa Bay-based digital agency.