COVID-19 impact

No-frills North Austin Tex-Mex spot ends 26-year run

No-frills North Austin Tex-Mex spot ends 26-year run

Enchiladas y mas north austin
Enchiladas y Mas will not reopen after the COVID-19 pandemic. Enchiladas y mas/Facebook

The coronavirus pandemic has prompted the retiring owners of Enchiladas Y Mas — a no-frills Tex-Mex restaurant in North Austin that always seemed to have lines of hungry and thirsty customers — to shutter their business earlier than originally planned.

In an April 19 post on Facebook, owners Robert and Mary Martinez announced they have closed the doors of their West Anderson Lane eatery. The Martinezes had planned to shut down the restaurant after their lease expired this June. But Austin’s requirement that dine-in service at restaurants be halted to curb the spread of the coronavirus accelerated their retirement — and the restaurant’s closure.

On March 17, the City of Austin ordered the temporary closure of restaurant dining areas. But restaurants were allowed to continue accepting pickup and delivery orders. 

“We tried doing take-out service, but financially it didn’t work out for us. We didn’t know that the City of Austin would keep us closed this long,” the Martinezes wrote.

After the take-out-only experiment, Enchiladas Y Mas announced in a March 23 Facebook post that it had shut down until further notice. 

The Martinezes’ retirement had been in the works for about 18 months. According to the latest Facebook post, the two daughters of former co-owner Roe Hernandez are trying to buy the business from the Martinezes. Hernandez, Mary Martinez’s brother, died in January 2019.

“If they are able to make this a reality,” the Martinezes wrote, “they will be back as soon as possible to serve the same food and margaritas that we’ve been offering all these years.”

In their goodbye Facebook post, the Martinezes thanked customers for their “patronage, loyalty, and kindness.” Enchiladas Y Mas opened in 1994.

“Thank you for 26 wonderful years. It’s been an unbelievable experience,” the Martinezes wrote. “Our hearts are full of gratitude and some sadness.”