Airport Boulevard institution Tamale House #3 will not reopen in the wake of owner Robert "Bobby" Vasquez's death. The restaurant announced via Facebook last night their shutter will be permanent; after Vasquez's death last week, Tamale House closed temporarily.
One of Vasquez's daughters (she did not sign her name) wrote the post and notes: "The restaurant was my father's baby, and that's how I want to remember it. It will never be my baby." In a later posting, she adds, "It's not that we didn't have respect for our father and his dream, it's just that we don't have the 'taco bug'." Tamale House will have one final hurrah with a fundraiser for former employees, either on Tuesday or Wednesday.
Members of the Vasquez family have operated Tex Mex restaurants in Austin for over 50 years. Tamale House reigned as a breakfast taco institution for 36 years; this 1999 documentary captures the love and loyalty the restaurant fostered. Tamale House East on East 6th is run by Vasquez's nieces and nephews. Read the Facebook postings in full below.
1) It saddens me to announce that the Tamale House will be closing its doors after 36 wonderful years. The restaurant was my father's baby, and that's how I want to remember it. It will never be my baby. I will be forever grateful to what his baby did for me, my daughter, and my siblings. I would like to give out a HUGE loving thank you to all the women who worked in that hot kitchen 6 days a week so my father could put food on our table and money in our pockets. Without those girls, we wouldn't have had anything. My father loved his employees and his customers and they loved him, and he was at peace with that. He will never be forgotten. We will miss you and love you forever Daddy.
2)I know everyone would have wanted us to continue his business, but my sister and I have other career paths. It's not that we didn't have respect for our father and his dream, it's just that we don't have the 'taco bug'. My father knew we didn't want to keep it open if he died and he was okay with that. So if anyone is thinking this, then that's disrespecting my father.
3) We will be having a charity food giveaway this Tuesday, May 5, and maybe Wednesday, May 6 at our regular hours. We are asking for a $5 minimum donation in which all the money will be given to his employees. So please spread the word. Thank you.
· Tamale House [Facebook]
· All Tamale House Coverage [EATX]
(H/T to The Statesman)