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Splash! Restaurant in Baja: A Story of Hard Work and Success In Baja

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 Santos, Rosarito’s most popular restaurateur, Splash! Restauran in Baja

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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About Carla White

Carla White is a freelance writer, public relations/marketing consultant and event organizer based in Ensenada, Baja, California. Carla and her husband Jim moved to Baja in 2003 from the Los Angeles area believing that, thanks to the internet and satellite communications, they could continue working from home while enjoying a richer, more affordable lifestyle. So far, they’ve been right. Connect with Carla Google+

Comments

  1. Linda Bonanno says:

    Congratulations Nicholas, Agapo & Sammy!! Splash has now expanded with the recent opening of Splash 2, located across the street from Tapanco Restaurant in Rosarito. Though the oceanview is missing, the atmosphere is still the same. Great food and wonderful employees. Keep up the great work guys!!

    Your friend, Linda Bonanno

  2. Rebecca H. Fass says:

    Great article! Splash is the most consistent in quality and price in this area. Also fun as the employees enjoy their jobs and do a great job as Nicolas is a wonderful boss.

  3. Jim Moore says:

    Great to see you are doing well my friend.
    Hopefully Shirley and I will be over this summer.
    Take Care
    Jimmy

  4. Good article. Splash is a wonderful place for locals to gather, eat and listen to good music while enjoying a spectacular ocean view.

    TONY

  5. Juli Hayward says:

    We here in Baja love Splash. The atmosphere is wonderful. The dancing music is the best. The waiters and waitress are so friendly. And the food can’t be beat. I have to go and get my Splash fix at least 2 or three times a week. LOVE SPLASH.

  6. Bruce Hay says:

    Congratulations to ALL of you at Splash! The Margaritas are the best, the waiters attentive with great personalities, they know our names (!) and your music is just teriffic, especially the nights that Ross plays, what a talent!! You are all blessed!Ole! Bruce

  7. Juergen says:

    for us it is the best place between Ensenada and Rosarito with a great guy named Nick,whom I first met when he was a dishwasher.Great Job Nick!!

  8. James Bond says:

    Nico…thanks for opening the Rosarito location..Splash 2. And also thanks for bring in the trio with Charlie and Brent on Fridays and Saturdays. I know once the word is out with advertising they will become great nights for you. It was good to see you again my friend….best of luck…James & Linda Bond

  9. Lynn Sisco says:

    Great to see some of Ensenada’s talent playing at Splash. Dino y Ruggero are a great addition to Nicolas’s place and as always your great service.. remembering you from way back when you were a bartender at Cantilles and saying to myself , wow , what great service and not hard to look at!! great job Nicolas!!

  10. Splash is my favorite restaurant in Baja.

    We bring people to Splash every chance we get. I lead tours in Baja with BajaTrek.com and AdventureClubSanDiego.com

    Our friends are wild and crazy and hopefully Nico doesn’t get too upset with us.

    I hope to see you soon for a Margarita and Lobster Bisque.

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