After 31 years and two locations in Lincoln Park, Taco & Burrito Palace No. 2, an iconic late-night Mexican restaurant near DePaul University’s campus, is closing. The restaurant will be open regular hours this weekend before closing for good at 5 a.m. on Sunday. While it’s the end of the line on Halsted Street, the staff is moving into a new home, at Tony’s Burrito Mex at 1957 W. Belmont Street in Roscoe Village.
The owner of Tony’s quietly bought TBP about five years ago, said Crystal Sarabia, part of the family that runs Taco & Burrito Palace. Tony’s will bring all five of Taco & Burrito Palace’s staff members to Roscoe Village, said TBP’s manager Hugo Sarabia. They’ll take over the Roscoe Village space on August 13. Tony’s won’t change names and it won’t need to close during the changeover.
That’s consolation for fans who have patronized Taco & Burrito Palace No. 2 since 1988. The first location was at 2441 N. Halsted Street, inside the cramped quarters where Paula’s Thai Kitchen now resides. It was there the Mexican restaurant became a late-night oasis, serving families and professionals by day, and then morphing into a holding pen for customers who came from the numerous neighborhood bars near Lincoln and Halsted. Needing a bigger space, the restaurant moved down the street about 15 years ago to its current location at 2459 N. Halsted Street.
Sarabia said they wanted to stay in the neighborhood but their landlord wouldn’t extend the restaurant’s lease. The area is changing with the arrival of Lincoln Common, the new development that’s replaced Children’s Memorial Hospital. Restaurants like Parson’s Chicken & Fish, Galit, and Bobby’s Lincoln Park have changed the area’s dining scene with the arrival of elevated and pricier options.
Taco and burrito kings, palaces, and expresses aren’t lacking in the neighborhood, but Taco & Burrito Palace No. 2 became a beloved haunt with consistently quality food. It was an ideal pick-me-up after a long night of bar hopping. Taco & Burrito Palace No. 1 in Boystown hasn’t gained as much of a cult following as its younger sibling in Lincoln Park.
For those who want to relive their memories of visiting the Big Nasty and Katacomb before grabbing a tasty burrito, Saturday night is Taco & Burrito Palace No. 2’s last night in Lincoln Park.