Photo by Asia Morris.
Jason Acuña, the professional skateboarder, stunt performer and television personality known for his appearances on shows like Jackass and Celebrity Circus—and better known by his stage name, Wee-Man—just opened a Chronic Tacos in Long Beach.
The Chronic Tacos location off of Stearns Street and Bellflower Boulevard has been remodeled and reopened, boasting third-generation Mexican recipes and your food, most notably the fish and shrimp, grilled to order.
Acuña, who recently closed a Chronic Tacos location in Redondo Beach because of its less-than-ideal location, seems more than happy to be back in a city where he used to skate, and seems to enjoy the community that frequents the Los Altos Shopping Center, where his revamped and remodeled franchise is now located.
“All the people who live in this neighborhood right here all walk over,” he said. “One lady, she came the other day, and she has the youngest little baby, I think it’s just starting to walk, a little girl. And she goes, ‘Yeah, we live across the street, and it took us an hour to get here.’ So it’s pretty funny, you just hear good stories.”
The franchise was founded in 2002, and Acuña came in as partner in 2008 after trying it out and deciding right then and there he wanted to be involved. He brings new ideas to the table and, blatantly put, thousands of fans.
“A lot of fans think that I’m the founder so it’s pretty funny,” he said. “Randy, who is the founder, will be in stores settin’ them up and they’ll be like, ‘Oh, hey, is your boss here?’ And he’ll be like, ‘Wadeya mean?’ ‘Wee-Man? Isn’t he your boss?’ He’ll laugh about it.”
The El Pastor is Acuña’s favorite protein at Chronic Tacos, saying they “do it authentic Mexican style.” The spicy pork, with fresh pineapple and onions cooked into it, makes for a sweet and spicy entrance to the stomach. He’ll eat any of the tacos, but only half a burrito, which he said are “huge.”
Acuña’s mother is German and his father is Mexican, and would have him, his brother and two sisters eat menudo every Sunday when they were kids, adding to his “half-background” in Mexican food, as he calls it.
“We didn’t even know that it was cow stomach and all that, we just loved it,” Acuña said. “If I would have known back then what I know now that I’m older, I probably wouldn’t have eaten it, but since I grew up on it, I love it.”
Acuña, who grew up in Torrance and has lived in Hermosa and Redondo Beach, said he used to skateboard in Long Beach all the time, and has been in town more frequently now since the soft opening the Chronic Tacos. Every Wednesday night he skates a “couple different curbs in downtown,” but like a true skater, not wanting to blow up any particularly good spots, he wouldn’t give away too many details.
“There’s a 4th Street curb, and then there’s a Hamburger Mary’s curb,” he said. “Then there’s a pretty cool ledge over at Cesar Chavez Park, that’s right by the 710, we skate there a bunch, too.”
The grand opening party and an official ribbon cutting with city officials is scheduled for Sunday, February 12 from 11:00AM to 4:00PM.
The first 20 people get a free taco every week for a year, and the first 50 get a free taco that day. Attendees can meet Wee-Man himself, while KROQ, mariachi bands and Gringo Bandito, Dexter Holland of The Offspring fame’s Orange County-based hot sauce company, will be onsite.
Twenty percent of all sales will go to the ECO Warrior Foundation, which strives to “educate, activate and motivate individuals and communities to keep our beaches and oceans clean and pollution free.”
For more information about the Chronic Tacos Stearns location, visit the link here.
Chronic Tacos is located at 5525 East Stearns Street.