Tristan's Beloved Taco Spot is Closing in Guangzhou

By Joshua Cawthorpe, December 22, 2020

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Popular taco joint Tristan’s Guangzhou announced with deep regret that they will be shuttering their doors after December 31. In a Facebook post from the owner, Tristan Sapp, he expressed that the decision is a begrudging surrender to tedious bureaucracy on two fronts.

In the post, the owner references ongoing difficulties with neighbors since the restaurant opened at its present location. Tristan filled us in on the most noteworthy caper.

By popular demand, the restaurant made the decision to add burgers back onto their menu. The surrounding neighbors, who would call the police and cite excessive noise if even a single person was sitting outside, had again filed complaints. After only the first few burgers had been cooked,  they were told that the restaurant was not permitted to cook anything that might produce smoke. Rather than finding a more diplomatic solution, it was decided that the most logical solution would be to confiscate all the pans for cooking burger patties and an armful of other miscellaneous pots from the kitchen. This took place in front of a room full of customers, according to Sapp.

READ MORE: Tristan Sapp: The Man Behind Guangzhou's Famous Taco Tuesdays

The tales of general malaise for Tristan’s at the hands of the community range from the electricity being mysteriously switched off, a demand to pay for the installation of new windows in one apartment’s balcony, someone pestering guests with a laser pointer and water being poured on guests from the windows above.

With Tristan’s Shenzhen also closing in September, the other determining factor is the ‘Great Wall’ of paperwork for international couples with children to tackle in order to attend school in China. Tristan and his family decided to take their daughter back to the United States to begin her education with more stability.

Below is an excerpt from Sapp’s original post expressing his gratitude for the many fun and rewarding years providing tacos to customers and close friends in Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

“I thank each and every one of you who have made this the most memorable and transformative chapter of my life, who have supported and believed in us... for whom Tristan's meant as much to you, as it did to Tristan. Thank you.

Eat Tacos, Drink Beer.”

The legacy of Tristan’s began as an informal ‘Taco Tuesday’ in his apartment back in 2014. It gained in popularity as a pop-up kitchen at different bars and events around Guangzhou and then opened up in a small permanent location in 2015.

To check out our review of Tristan's back in 2015, click here.

READ MORE: Tristan Sapp on How Coronavirus is Hurting F&B in the Greater Bay Area

[Cover image via Dianping]

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