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Jax Daily Record Wednesday, Aug. 5, 202003:30 PM EST

904 Tacos to open in former Derby House Diner space in Five Points

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Owners Blanca and Jesus Valencia plan to serve authentic Mexican food with a full bar.
by: Katie Garwood Staff Writer

The former Derby House Diner in Five Points, vacant since October, has a new tenant.

904 Tacos plans to open at 1068 Park St. in the next month and a half. 

Jesus and Blanca Valencia are the owners. They also own 14 Salsas Mexican Restaurant and one Anejo Cocina Mexicana in Ponte Vedra.

Blanca Valencia said 904 Tacos will serve authentic Mexican food with a full bar.

The menu will offer street tacos, a specialty barbacoa taco, tortas, gorditas, homemade horchata, and bottled Mexican sodas. It will be open for lunch and dinner. 

While the hours haven’t been finalized, Valencia said they plan to be open 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday and close later on the weekends – possibly at midnight or 1 a.m.

Margaritas, Mexican beer and other cocktails will be served from the bar. 

“We really wanted to put an authentic Mexican concept somewhere,” Valencia said. 

The couple drove by the space for rent and decided it was the right location and size for their plans, she said. They will lease about 2,000 square feet from 1068 Park Street LLC.

“We didn’t want to open a huge restaurant,” she said. It will have 15 to 20 employees.

It will have Mexican-themed decor, she said. In addition to the interior, it will use the covered, air-conditioned porch for seating. 

After the pandemic, Valencia said she wants to have live music and entertainment on weekends. 

As of now, the Valencias are not planning to add more 904 Tacos locations. But there are plans to grow their other concepts. The Valencias have been in the restaurant business for around 15 years, she said. 

They will open a second Anejo Cocina Mexicana in the ground floor of the 220 Riverside apartment building in Brooklyn in the former Brixx Wood Fired Pizza space. 

It will open in the next two months, she said. Their first Anejo location opened in May in Ponte Vedra. 

While the restaurants are related, 904 Tacos is “completely different” from Anejo and Salsas Mexican Restaurant, Valencia said.  

The last tenant in 1086 Park St., Derby House Diner, closed in the space in October. It served classic diner food with “a twist.” Derby On Park preceded it. It closed in December 2018.

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