“Flying Santo” the new Mexican Taco Bar breaking ground in South Dakota

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Flying Santo taco bar is a new restaurant that will open in later this summer in the Jones421 building in downtown Sioux Falls. The mural, which depicts a character inspired by Mexican wrestlers El Santo and Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka, was painted by Jillian Artistry.

“There’s no better way to integrate into the community than doing something that you love,” said Abe Castro.

That’s just what he and his husband, Doug Sager, are doing with their new taco bar, Flying Santo.

Flying Santo will be located in the Jones421 building on Philips Avenue, where Papa Woody’s used to be. While the two do not have an exact opening day yet, they said they are planning for late June but for sure by the Fourth of July.

Bringing Mexican flavors from California to Sioux Falls

The couple moved from California two years ago — around the start of the pandemic. Both of their jobs went completely remote, and, because everything else was shut down, there was nothing for them to do.


“During that time, we were starting to think, ‘Okay, why do we live here?’” Castro said. “If we could do what we do from anywhere, where would we want to live?”

He said their decision eventually came down to the quality of life.

Sager had been to Sioux Falls many times in his youth when his family would travel to Minnesota, where his great-grandparents moved to after leaving Norway, and he had always had good memories of the city.

Castro was also fond of the choice: “Sioux Falls has a little bit of everything.”

Abe Castro, left, and his husband Doug Sager are opening Flying Santo taco bar in downtown Sioux Falls this June.
Abe Castro, left, and his husband Doug Sager are opening Flying Santo taco bar in downtown Sioux Falls this June.

The two visited for a week in the summer of 2020 and decided to make the move. While Castro, who was born in northern Mexico, loved it here, he was really missing the flavors of home.

Working remotely was still isolating, he said, so opening a small store in Sioux Falls was a perfect idea.

“This is definitely Abe’s brainchild,” Sager said, but the theme they decided on together.

The ’80s wrestlers that inspired the theme of Flying Santo

The idea behind the name Flying Santo started with a man: El Santo.

“Right now, the world is kind of reliving the ’80s,” said Sager. “I tried to think what one of the best things about the ’80s was, and, for me, it was wrestling. And El Santo — he put Mexican wrestling on the map.”

Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka was another wrestler in the ’80s who was known for his high-flying leap off the top rope of the wrestling ring. Sager said they wanted to incorporate those two characters into the Flying Santo.

There are two murals — one inside and one outside — that depict the combined character and El Santo’s famous silver mask. Both are surrounded by bright colors, and the murals are the work of Jillian Artistry.

A mural outside of Flying Santo taco bar in the Jones421 building in downtown Sioux Falls is almost completed as of May 20. The artist, Jillian Artistry, will continue to add jewels to the famous silver mask worn by Mexican wrestler El Santo. The restaurant should open sometime in June.
A mural outside of Flying Santo taco bar in the Jones421 building in downtown Sioux Falls is almost completed as of May 20. The artist, Jillian Artistry, will continue to add jewels to the famous silver mask worn by Mexican wrestler El Santo. The restaurant should open sometime in June.

“It would say the theme is very colorful,” Castro said. “It’s just a lot of fun, and we wanted it to be a place that was a welcoming and enjoyable experience.”

Simple menu from the heart

The menu will be featuring basics like tacos, quesadillas, nachos, burritos, and bowls. There will be steak Asado, carnitas, chicken, breaded shrimp, and a vegetarian option with all the toppings you’d expect.

The tortillas will be handmade in front of the customers as they go through the line and choose what toppings and sauces they want.

The goal is to use farm-grown vegetables and anything else they can get local, like the steak and chicken. Flying Santo will also serve Mexican beer and Sonoran street corn.

The couple is also planning to create monthly specials and eventually offer Mexican hot dogs or things like churros down the road, but the idea is to not make the menu overwhelming right away.

“It will take some time to find a rhythm,” Sager said.

There will be enough seating for about 14 people inside the restaurant, but customers can also take their food to go or sit in other areas of the Jones421 building or in the courtyard when the weather is nice.

“This is definitely from the heart, and that’s what real food is supposed to be,” Sager said. “And it’s really an honor to be welcomed into the Jones family.”

Source: Argus Leader

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