Today marks the grand opening of the new Torchy Taco's flagship store on South Congress. Eater Austin photographer Robert Lerma visited the roomy new restaurant, which boasts bold visual elements and a generous amount of patio seating. Austinites lined up for blocks yesterday for a sneak preview of the long-awaited location and received free tacos for their trouble.
The new Torchy's occupies the site of the former Fran's Hamburgers—an Austin icon in its own right—and marks the 35th location of the taco joint that started in 2006 with a trailer in an abandoned lot overlooking Bouldin Creek on South First. While plans for the location initially included a full bar, its proximity to Fulmore Middle School has proven problematic, so, for now, there are no margaritas to accompany the queso and tacos. The now-iconic taco joint will open its first Colorado location in Denver on February 1.