In case were thinking that another downtown Gilroy business bit the dust, what was once Desero Tequila Town in the old Strand Theatre at 7588 Monterey St. shut down last month – but it’s still going to be a restaurant.
Initially opened by Renato and Diane Cusimano in late September 2011 as a venue touting authentic Italian dishes and specialty top shelf tequila drinks, the Cusimanos still own the business – but are hitting the refresh button. Reincarnated into the “Tequila VIP Grill,” the Cusimanos have hired a new manager, revamped the menu and freshened things up by painting over the dining room’s previous “baby shower blue” hue.
“I hear Gilroy gets a lot of tourists, and I want it to be more of a tourist attraction,” says newly recruited manager Hector Campos, who owns Bankers Casino and Restaurant in Salinas.
Excited with the prospect of attracting more out-of-owners, Campos is spreading word of the restaurant’s re-opening by advertising in Salinas and San Jose.
“We’re trying to turn it around and have a fresh start,” he said Thursday, strolling around the massive dance floor.
With its lofty ceilings, grandiose stage, private group seating in backlit booths, 14,000 square feet of space and lengthy bar with plenty of cushioned stools to relax on and catch a game, the elbow room to accommodate sports fans, diners, dancers, music lovers, quinceañeras, holiday shindigs or graduation celebrations is certainly there.
Campos doesn’t seem to be getting ahead of himself, however. He’s open to hosting live performances, scheduling Zumba classes, etc., but noted “I want to get a feel for what Gilroy wants. Who knows?”
The same goes hours of operation. Where as Desero Tequila Town was closed Mondays and Tuesdays, Campos said Tequila VIP Grill – which will now feature American and Mexican cuisine, rather than Italian – will be open for lunch and dinner seven days a week. Campos has not decided on the exact hours, however.
The restaurant’s soft opening is slated for Friday evening.
The Cusimanos, who have not returned calls for comment yet, founded and still own the Deseo Tequila Lounge and Restaurant, which is located in Redwood City.