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Meet Julian Hakim of The Taco Stand in Downtown, North Park, La Jolla and Encinitas

Today we’d like to introduce you to Julian Hakim.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I got into the restaurant business out of pure luck. I had finished medical school and was applying to residency programs to get into surgery when space opened up next to my uncle’s pizzeria in La Jolla back in 2o13. I had always had the idea to open a Taqueria like the ones I grew up going to in Tijuana. I spoke to my uncle Aram about it and we decided to go for it. We had a very clear idea, to keep it real. Handmade tortillas, trompo for al pastor, elotes, fun and loud music. The response was fantastic and I decided to take a one year break from residency and open a second Taco Stand.

Since then, we have opened a total of 5 Taco Stands. Four in SD and one in Miami as well as a couple sushi restaurants. Ever since going to Japan for the first time a few years ago, we became fascinated with the Japanese way and that’s how the sushi places came to be. We formed our group Shōwa Hospitality last year that oversees all of our places. I still haven’t gone back to residency.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Opening a new business will rarely go smoothly. For me, getting involved in the build-outs was challenging. I had no real background in construction and all of a sudden we had to build out these restaurants going off of pure instinct.

We have learned a lot along the way, mostly what not to do. Also, building a strong team is never easy. Fortunately, we now have a tremendous team that works so hard everyday and represent our restaurants proudly!

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about The Taco Stand – what should we know?
The Taco Stand has been known for its quality and that is one thing that will never change. We go to great lengths to ensure everything is prepared daily and using only high-quality ingredients. At the same time, we are always looking for ways to improve. Just because something is working doesn’t mean it can’t be improved.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
I think I’m persistent. Many times it seemed as if a deal was dead and somehow I was able to revive it and it turned out to be a great success. It’s easy to give up, the extra push to keep it alive could turn out to have great results.

Contact Info:

  • Address: 624 Broadway suite 301 San Diego, Ca 92101
  • Website:
  • Email:
  • Instagram: @showahospitality
  • Facebook: @showahospitality
  • Twitter: @showahosp

Getting in touch: SDVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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