Austinites of a certain vintage remember that the first ever Torchy’s Tacos brick-and-mortar location opened at 2809 S. First St. about a decade ago. Memories of those halcyon days will soon just be memories, as the original location will close on October 22.
A press release from the company founded by Mike Rypka as a food truck in 2006 states that the location is closing as Torchy’s “shifts its focus to more accessible restaurants throughout the Austin area.”
New locations of Torchy’s, which took on major private equity investment in 2017, are popping up all over Texas (one opens in San Antonio tomorrow), often in new construction and with full bars and amenities not found at the original location on South First Street. Torchy’s now has 17 Austin-area locations and 70 locations across Texas, Colorado, Arkansas and Oklahoma.
Beyond its fame as the first location of Torchy’s, the South First Street spot was also notable for the visit it received from president Obama during South by Southwest in 2016.
With the closure of the South First location, South Austinites will be left with the South Lamar Boulevard and South Congress Avenue locations to get their green chili queso fix.
“This is a bittersweet moment, but a sign of continued growth for Torchy’s Tacos,” said G.J. Hart, CEO. “I can assure you our roots aren’t leaving Austin and the culture and history of this first restaurant is carried forward in every location that we build. We are absolutely dedicated to our hometown, as evidenced by the two new restaurants we’ve opened in the Austin area already this year and additional locations on our roadmap for 2020 and beyond.”
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