Meet Your Neighbor: Eliseo Ruiz

Every neighborhood should have a taqueria.  That’s what I think.  Tacos with marinated meat, cilantro and onions, paired with horchata or coke in a bottle is a very underrated pleasure.  Throw in a husband-wife team, futbol on the tube, and an assortment of other food for takeout or to-go, and you have Nayar Taqueria.  Meet its owner…

Nayar, Eliseo Ruiz1. Knowing our neighbors makes for a brighter and safer community. Who are you, and what is your connection to the neighborhood (resident, business owner, neighborhood advocate, etc)?
“My name is Eliseo Ruiz, and I own Nayar Taqueria.  We are at 5919 SE Foster.  We do authentic Mexican food using natural meats and all fresh ingredients.  We also have Horchata and house Margaritas.”

2. How long have you lived or worked in the neighborhood, and what do you think makes it unique?
“I’ve been in the neighborhood for six months.  We’ve only been open for three months, but I spent three months remodeling the space before opening.
The neighborhood seems very young.  It’s a working class neighborhood going through a lot of change.  It’s becoming more popular with a lot of young families that support local businesses.”

3. What are your favorite neighborhood haunts (for food, shopping, walks, drinking, entertainment, etc)?
“I haven’t had much time to explore the neighborhood outside of work yet.  I look forward to trying Bar Carlo and Da Hui, though.  I like my neighbors’ shop, The Crafty Underdog Shop / LGA and TBBV Design, and Meticon Bikes next to them.”

4. It’s a fact, our neighborhood is pretty rad. How do we keep it that way…and then some (i.e. enhance our parks, more n’hood events, more businesses, less tweakers, etc)?
“Support local businesses.  Look out for one another.  Be proud and let everyone know how great Foster is.  Also, we should embrace some of the diversity that exists in the area.  I’d like to start hosting Spanish conversation groups for people trying to learn the language of who don’t get to use it as much as they’d like.”
[* If you’re interested, please leave a comment.]

5. If you had a bajillion dollars (ok, a million) to spend on Foster, what would you do with it?
“I’d help property- and homeowners make their properties look nice.  I’d also install video cameras to help prevent some of the tagging, speeding, and other crimes going on.”

[* As I’m talking to Eliseo, he describes some of the storefront improvements he plans to make, including the vandalized windows that he’ll soon be replacing.]

6. If you could pick a theme song for the neighborhood, or choose a celebrity that best exemplifies the character of it, what/who would it be?
“We Are Young,” by Fun.

Thanks, Eliseo.  We look forward to seeing Nayar grow, as well as some of the renovations you’re planning.

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10 Responses to Meet Your Neighbor: Eliseo Ruiz

  1. Holly says:

    I’d love to come for a beginners’ group– hablo solo un poquito. 🙂
    Fun interview, thanks!

  2. Mya Root says:

    I’d be interested in conversational Spanish!

  3. Melanie says:

    Mt. Scott teachers LOVE your food! We were SO excited to see you guys open over break and when I forget my lunch at home you are always my first choice for a quick bite! We have a small Spanish class as well as a Spanish Culture class. Maybe we could pair with you guys to make food and have good conversations? Keep up the great work and welcome to the neighborhood!

  4. Linda Goertz says:

    Oh YES! Conversaciones, por favor!

  5. Lori says:

    We have loved the burritos we’ve had here, and I would totally get into a conversational group!

  6. Collin says:

    My fiancé and I were here last week. Food was great, Eliseo was friendly and we will definitely be back. Thanks for making Foster better!

  7. Wishdish says:

    Great idea to host a spanish convo group. My wife teaches Spanish at Grant HS and might be interested.

  8. Welcome to Foster. I liked your comment about supporting local business- drop in at Lansing Linoleum anytime. Also, do you know about the Mercado ( moving in at 72nd and Foster? It is an Hispanic marketplace with restaurants and retail shops. Supposed to be built in 2014.

  9. Wow, lots of interest in Spanish conversation. I talked to Eliseo last night, and he’s definitely on board with hosting at Nayar. If you’d like to be part of this, please email us at

    Also, does anybody have experience running a group like this? Eliseo would be around to help, but I don’t know that he could lead the group with other responsibilities. If someone wants to take the lead, let us know.

  10. Pingback: Happy Weekend, FoPo! |

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