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Torchy’s Tacos Is Closing Its Original Restaurant

The mini-empire’s first permanent location, on South First, once hosted Barack Obama

Tacos from Torchy’s
Tacos from Torchy’s
Torchy’s Tacos/Facebook
Nadia Chaudhury is the editor of Eater Austin covering food and pop culture, as well as a photographer, writer, and frequent panel moderator and podcast guest.

Austin taco-chain Torchy’s Tacos is closing its original restaurant on 2809 South First Street. Its last day in the Dawson neighborhood will be on Tuesday, October 22. Most notably, this is the same location that hosted President Barack Obama in 2016 during South by Southwest.

The South First location is closing “as the brand shifts its focus to more accessible restaurants throughout the Austin area,” as a press statement noted, like parking and the ability to serve a full bar (which the flagship South Congress restaurant still can’t do). There are still plans to focus on opening additional Austin locations.

The taco company will hold onto the South First restaurant building for the time being, to figure out future uses for the space. The press statement noted that the current South First employees have been offered jobs at other Torchy’s locations.

Torchy’s closed its original taco trailer on South First in 2018, noting that the further south South First restaurant was still open at that time. There will be 14 locations in Austin after this shutter. The closest Torchy’s to this South First address include the downtown one, South Congress, and South Lamar.

Torchy’s Tacos founder and owner Michael Rypka opened the taco truck in 2006, and it quickly grew with restaurants across Texas, as well as in Colorado, Oklahoma, and Arkansas.

Recently, singer Lizzo opted to get her taco and queso fix from Torchy’s Tacos during Austin City Limits this past weekend.

3:42 p.m.: This article has been updated to include what Torchy’s meant by “accessible.”

Torchy's Tacos

1822 South Congress Avenue, , TX 78704 (512) 916-9025 Visit Website