Eats Beat

Fort Worth taco restaurant toasts its reopening after two days of cleaning, repairs

The Yucatan Taco Stand restaurant reopened Saturday with new equipment, a scrubdown and a humble apology on social media.

Fort Worth city inspectors approved the reopening after Yucatan, 909 W. Magnolia Ave., replaced dishwashing equipment and upgraded pest control in the 80-year-old building, according to a city spokeswoman.

After days of silence, the restaurant announced on its Facebook page at 10:06 a.m. Saturday: “We sincerely apologize for falling short of giving you the quality, product, and service you deserve. We have had the place professionally cleaned and sanitized ... We are reopening today at Noon and running happy hour prices all day today and tomorrow.”

The celebration at the restaurant was apparently less humble. A photo sent by a reader showed four people on the Yucatan patio wearing T-shirts that included obscenities and epithets directed at health inspectors and joking about the restaurant’s 34 health violations in an early August inspection.

The 11-year-old restaurant was closed Thursday and Friday after city inspectors made repeat visits and found equipment problems, unsafe food handling and a lack of pest control.

Yucatan had failed a reinspection Friday but managers replaced more equipment and sealed off cracks and holes in the historic building, according to city spokeswoman Diane Covey.

The Facebook message also said owners would be “making drastic changes to rebuilding our brand” and thanked patrons for their loyalty.

Yucatan opened as a follow-up venture for the late chef Paul Willis after he helped create Fuzzy’s Taco Shops. It has changed hands through the years.

Other locations in Dallas, Houston and Southlake have closed.

Columnist Bud Kennedy is a Fort Worth guy who covered high school football at 16 and has moved on to two Super Bowls, seven political conventions and 15 Texas Legislature sessions. Since 1985, he has also written more than 2,000 “Eats Beat” columns about Texas dining, restaurants and food.