El Borracho Sign

By mid-July, the former Pan Africa should be a casual den of tacos and tequila.

Kittie Davidovich, owner of Le Bon Ton Roulé, specializes in a certain kind of casual vibe, fueled by strong drinks and good music. Now she’s translating the bon temps of her Creole roadhouse in Fremont to buenos tiempos downtown, opening a new spot called El Borracho Taqueria y Cantina in Pike Place Market. Her space at 1521 First Ave, was previously Pan Africa.

“We want to be a taco truck with a bar,” she says, though she’s being a little modest about the ample lunch and dinner menu, which includes tacos, Mission-style burritos, tortas, and bites like ceviche, and queso fundido. She and boyfriend Adam Pomerleau, the executive chef at both establishments, have done copious taco truck research in recent weeks.

The space has two entrances, meaning a dining area can accommodate all ages, while the lounge is reserved for legal drinkers partaking in the four house margaritas, tequila and mezcal flights, beer, and assorted cocktails.

It’s a bit of a haul back and forth from her current digs, but Davidovich knows the market well, from the 10 years she spent working at Lowell’s. She’s hoping El Borracho will be a place where the fishmongers and purveyors hang out as well as locals and inevitable stream of visitors. “We want to wow the market,” she says, and also promises a Sounderscentric viewing environment during MLS season.

Though the establishment’s name is a little cheeky, Davidovich says “we are not going to be a caricature of Mexico.” She’s especially excited about dishes like the white gazpacho, made with almonds, cucumbers, garlic and grapes, that she first sampled at a wedding in Zihuatanejo. Some dishes, and elements like salsas and the fish in the fish tacos, will change with the seasons and take advantage of the market’s wares.

Another key component of her new establishment: “When the music’s good, people stay.” Bon Ton streams New Orleans station WWOZ; El Borracho will have a digital jukebox loaded with classic country and rockabilly, think the early days of Jerry Lee Lewis and Chuck Berry.

Davidovich is also promising a fancy bathroom with a Japanese toilet. Because, really, why not? She hopes to have her doors open by mid-July.