The dining area was spotless. It was new. It was ready for customers for the first time in almost five months.
“A lot of sleepless nights, stress,” Gracy Ayala said with a sigh.
On Nov. 11, 2021, two trucks collided outside Frida’s Tacos in Escondido. One of them came to a stop inside the dining area.
“Came all the way in and stopped right before the kitchen where the gas lines and everything is,” said Ayala, who co-owns Frida’s with her husband, pointing to the kitchen.
That forced the taco shop to close its indoor operations after struggling to stay afloat during the pandemic, which seemed to prompt the restaurant to open and close almost monthly. Oddly enough, one year earlier, another truck tried crashing its way into the dining area.
Ayala was beside herself after it happened again.
“We did what we could to survive until things got back to normal and a year later, here we are,” she said, allowing herself a smile.
Frida’s Tacos fully reopened this week for the first time since the day before the state of California issued its first stay-at-home order in March 2020. Ayala deployed mariachi to welcome customers back.
“I’m just happy,” she said, beaming. “I feel blessed that everything’s coming back to normal.”
The boarded-up windows that covered the shattered glass last November have been replaced by spotless windows. The owners used the closure as an opportunity to update everything inside.
“They did a good job, taking their time,” customer Diego Barco said
“And now we’re back,” said Ayala, smiling.
Ayala said she is still working with the city of Escondido on installing some sort of barricade out front of her restaurant to prevent any more vehicles from trying to park inside.