By Steve Kassanyi
This little story is more than an article about Splash! Restaurant in Baja; it is a story of hard work and success by the Brothers Santos, Nicolas and Agapo, who left their home town of La Cruz in the state of Chihuahua on mainland Mexico in 1996.
Nicolas came to Baja to Playas de Rosarito and began his career as a dishwasher at the Palmira Restaurant in Cantamar, learning to master the English language. He was soon promoted to bartender there, and progressed in his profession at Raul`s Restaurant, then El Pescador, and finally at Bahia Cantiles.
It is honest to say that Nicolas developed an incredible following, becoming one of the most popular bartenders on Baja`s Gold Coast. He has also taken an active role in the community and offers support to many, including the Baja Scholarship Foundation.
Agapo had worked as chef at the Rosarito Beach Hotel, Las Rocas Hotel & Spa, the Calafia Resort Hotel, La Mision Hotel, and a couple of USA restaurants, the Restaurant Depot in Colorado and the Rodeo Grill in Los Angeles. He has honed his talents over the years, and is known for some of the best Seafood dishes — like grilled black sea bass — around.
Nicolas and Agapo bought the local hang-out Bahia Cantiles in 2009, and sold it the same year. The two brothers had saved their hard-earned money and after selling Bahia Cantiles, they opened the Splash! Restaurant in Baja at KM 52 on the free road between Rosarito and Ensenada. Their location surprised some people, as it’s in a small fishing village on the coast, off the so-called ‘beaten path.’ The Restaurant is built on the bluff of lava rock outcroppings, with the surf pounding the rocks and splashing incredible amounts of the Ocean right at the windows.
What a beautiful view, even better at sunset! One can look out the large windows and see dolphins frolicking in the surf.
Splash! Restaurant in Baja has been open for a while now, and although they started as a Seafood house (shrimp and fish Tacos and burritos each for only $1.25, and an amazing Seven Seas Soup), they have since expanded their new menu to include great steaks, chicken dishes, burgers, and of course great Mexican Food. They also serve breakfast, and feature a southern recipe — sausage gravy served over chicken-fried steak. Best gravy in all of Baja!
Splash! Restaurant at Rosarito takes full advantage of its spectacular view with a large horseshoe-shaped bar, with large flat-screen TV`s everywhere for those who want to view a variety of sporting events. There are heaters for the colder months, and with the windows open during warmer days you`ll enjoy the cool Ocean breezes throughout the bar. There’s a tropical outdoor palapa area, and Splash! also features daily live entertainment for great listening or dancing.
Their location is easy to find, just take the first driveway south of the large CRREAD facility at KM 52, at the southbound Cuenca Lechera off-ramp of Highway 1. Splash! Restaurant in Baja is a great experience for dining and sharing cocktails with friends, giving a true meaning to the words “Ambiente Familiar”. Great place, great food, great fun.
And a great story about how hard work, a little ingenuity and a lot of soul resulted in one of northern Baja’s busiest, most fun and popular Restaurant success stories.
Splash2 recently opened in Rosarito Beach! Check it out and let Baja.com know if the shrimp tacos are just as good!
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