Maria’s Taco Xpress, an Austin landmark known for migas and Hippie Church on Sunday, is closing, according to a report in austin360.com.
This is sad news.
Owner Maria Corbalan cited high property taxes in booming South Austin and declining business at the funky spot as reasons for pulling up stakes after 20 years.
She said she’s got a contract to sell the property on Lamar Boulevard, for which she paid $250,000 years ago. But she added that she’s not selling her business, and will give her employees a chance to carry the torch in a new location using the same name.
“I’m not selling the name because perhaps my employees will be able to continue the business. That would be my gift to them,” Corbalan told austin360.com. “I could not have done this without my guys. I keep a tight relationship with all of my guys, and I am really going to miss them.”
She said she’s looking at April 1 to close on the sale and that she’ll throw a big party with live music after South by Southwest.
“I’m sad. I don’t want to say goodbye to my baby,” Corbalan told the Austin blog. “The appreciation for my guys and customers, and the sadness are beyond belief.”
The South Lamar landmark is known for its colorful graffiti exterior and a giant rooftop bust of a welcoming Corbalan.
It’s been a reliable haunt for those in search of a post-Saturday night elixir of migas and beer and Hippie Church with live music on Sundays.
One only hopes that Corbalan’s employees can keep the flame burning at another location and salvage an icon of Austin funkiness.