San Pancho, a new restaurant concept set to open this summer in Takoma Park from Cielo Rojo owners David Perez and Carolina McCandless, is featured in a Washingtonian Magazine article titled “Spring/Summer Restaurant Preview: 34 New and Forthcoming Spots We’re Excited About.”
In the article, Washingtonian executive food editor Ann Limpert wrote that Perez and McCandless “are turning their beloved Mexican cafe, Cielo Rojo, into a fast-casual destination for tortas and San Francisco–style burritos. Fear not, Cielo fans: This summer, it’ll move to a bigger space (7211 Carroll Ave.) with a full bar and a private dining room.”
We previously reported that Cielo Rojo will relocate to the former location of Healey Surgeons at 7211 Carroll Ave., adjacent to the fire station, according to Washington City Paper’s Nevin Martell. “With the help of DesignCase—which oversaw the design of Maydan and Immigrant Food—the new location will feature 120 seats inside and another 30 seats on the patio, an open kitchen, 16-seat bar, and private dining room for 20-30 diners,” Martell wrote.
The existing Cielo Rojo location will be transformed into San Pancho, a fast-casual restaurant serving tortas and Mission-style burritos, which became popular during the 1960s in the Mission District of San Francisco.
“We wanted to stay in Takoma Park because the people here are very loyal,” co-owner Carolina McCandless said to WCP. “They have been so good to us, especially during the pandemic.”
Cielo Rojo opened in early 2019 at 7056 Carroll Ave. in Takoma Park. The “fine-casual” Mexican restaurant has been praised multiple times by food critics, namely for its outdoor dining, tacos, and pozole soup. Former WCP food editor Laura Hayes praised the restaurant last December, naming its Quesa Birria one of the “13 Best Under $35 Dishes D.C. Area Restaurants Served in 2021”.
Photo: Cielo Rojo/Facebook