After three years in limbo, the fate of Maria's Taco Xpress has been revealed. The iconic South Austin Tex-Mex eatery has been sold to a local investment firm for an undisclosed sum. Maria Corbalan, the restaurant's owner and namesake, said in a release that her staff will continue serving customers through the end of the year.
“When I came to Austin from Argentina as a young girl, I fell in love with this city and its people. My restaurant has allowed me to touch so many lives over the years and for that I am incredibly grateful,” said Corbalan.
Corbalan has owned the restaurant since 1997, when it first started as a food trailer. In 2006, the brick-and-mortar opened on a 1.1-acre plot of prime South Austin real estate.
In addition to serving her expansive menu of tacos, enchiladas, and famous migas plates, Corbalan said she will be handing over the Maria's Taco Xpress name to her employees so the brand might continue on.
“I will continue to serve everyone until the end of the year and then I am giving the business name, equipment and a trailer to my employees of 20 years," she said. "They have been amazing, especially during these recent hard times, and I hope they can bring the same delicious tacos to Austin for many years to come. The best gift the community can give me is supporting my employees on their new endeavor.”
As for the future of 2529 S. Lamar Blvd. (and the larger-than-life statue of Corbalan on the premises), that remains unknown. CBRE, the LA-based commercial real estate firm that represented Corbalan in the sale, said the property is officially under contact, with the deal expected to be finalized in November.
The new owners are unknown, though a release notes that they are based locally. Real estate advisory firm Weitzman Group is working with the new owners on securing a tenant.
Maria's Taco Xpress is yet another long-running South Austin business to close in recent weeks. Bead It, the quirky South Lamar craft shop, closed on September 27 after nearly two decades on the South Lamar strip.