Adios El Lago
Future of East Austin's El Lago looks dismal
In May, CultureMap reported that El Lago Mexican Foods Inc. would be moving from its home of nearly 50 years on East Fourth Street to a 24,000-square-foot commercial space in Pflugerville.
According to a report by the Austin Business Journal, despite the Pflugerville City Council approving a $60,000 economic incentive for El Lago if the company brought a minimum of 40 jobs to the city, the move will not take place.
Residential developments in East Austin, particularly the future development of the Plaza Saltillo tract of land, factored into El Lago's interest in relocating. Owners also said that closer access to SH 130 would have optimized distribution of the tortillas and chips to grocery stores and restaurants.
With the Pflugerville move falling apart, the Austin Business Journal also reports that El Lago’s 52,000-square-foot East Austin factory is on the market. An email to the company’s customer service department generated an automatic reply that says, “We are sorry to say that since we had to move from our old time location in central Austin, we are having big issues to go back in business. We are still trying to get the company up and running again soon. Thank you again and keep your fingers cross (sic).”
As of press time, El Lago had not responded to inquiries made by CultureMap.
El Lago has been in business since 1967. The brand was purchase by S.G. Mexican Foods in 1997 who then sold the 2.7-acre East Austin property in 2001.
It now appears that like so many other Austin businesses, El Lago may not have had a choice in whether it can stay in East Austin. Fans of local business (and locally-made tortillas) can only hope that a new home can be found before El Lago is gone forever.