Family works to carry on Taqueria Fiesta Brava
Restaurants & RetailJanuary 14th, 2021
Despite the death of 60-year-old Roberto Alvarado Ochoa on Nov. 18, family, friends, and longtime customers of the restaurant he founded, Taqueria Fiesta Brava, say they’re determined to keep both his food and memory alive.
Ochoa’s daughter, Jessica Ochoa, says the restaurant at 820 E. Francis, on Spokane’s North Side, has endured a difficult year.
“We’re down to two employees,” says the 28-year-old manager. “It’s just me and the cook.”
Reduced to takeout orders like many eateries, Taqueria Fiesta Brava serves from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day, she says.
Roberto Ochoa, who immigrated to the U.S. at the age of 17, took great pride in preparing authentic Mexican fare, the younger Ochoa says.
“The food we make is the real thing, which means it’s lighter and not as heavy as what is often the case with Mexican food in the U.S.,” she says.
Roberto Ochoa began serving meals from a taco truck seven years ago and shortly thereafter moved into an approximately 1,000-square-foot space in the strip mall on the southeast intersection of East Francis Avenue and North Cincinnati Street.
Jessica Ochoa says she’s worked periodically at the restaurant since its inception as bartender, busser, hostess, and server.
Her father’s death has generated a grassroots effort of publicity from customers who want the restaurant to survive. It wasn’t just her father’s food that drew customers to the restaurant, it was also his personality.
“Roberto not only had great stories, but he a was a fabulous listener and wanted to hear your stories,” she says. “He was the type to talk to everyone.”