Taco Guild’s 126-year history is written on the walls

Positively Arizona

Phoenix – Off the corner of 7th Street and Osborn, you’ll notice the Taco Guild restaurant, but did you know this building dates back before Arizona was even a state.

Director of Operations of Taco Guild Sean Snelling told us that people don’t realize how much history is right in the center of town.

“The roof, the walls, the floor, the stained glass windows, but they went through the trouble of making sure that they also kept the plaques of the original people made the donations,” said Snelling.

We’re touring the inside this taco-restaurant near Downtown Phoenix. Built-in 1893 as a church called Smith’s Chapel, named after its owners George and Edna Smith. At the time it would have been just about the only thing around here, in what is now a very busy part of town.

“One of the stones says 1893 as one of the very first church was built here and 1948 when they did rebuild the current church, moving those cornerstones, they uncovered a time capsule the biggest piece of history was in there”, said Snelling.

While renovating the restaurant in November 2013, many of the items from the original building were preserved for diners to see. Located on the back wall of the restaurant are a registry and a title deed notarized from the Territory of Arizona.

Sean says former members of the church frequently return to Taco Guild to donate items like programs, photographs of inside the church and badges.

With a smile on his face, Snelling says “It reminds you that this building meant a lot of things to a lot of people well before we ever walked in, I mean people were married here, put to rest here, people were baptized here”.

So stop by to take in the nostalgia of sitting in a place older than Arizona itself. After all, this may be the only place around—where drinking in a church is encouraged. ​

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