The Heavy Metal Taco Redo Now Taking Shape on N. Main off I-45

Facial adjustments to the building at 3701 N. Main have left it rustier than it was when El Taquito Rico shuttered in the same space last May. The former Woodland Heights Mexican restaurant’s yellow sign has been removed, as has the standing seam mansard roof-style awning that wrapped its frontage on N. Main. In their place, a headband of corrugated metal now hugs the top of the structure — which sits on a narrow 8,375-sq.-ft. lot at the end of Pecore St., just west of I-45 (and across the street from the O’Reilly Auto Parts building that Asia Market is moving into).

Floor-to-ceiling windows that lined the restaurant’s entryway have also been truncated:


Here’s what the view toward Pecore St. looked like back in November:

There’s no sign indicating the name of the restaurant yet, however a TABC notice posted on the building’s front door last year listed the applicant as Puro Mente LLC — a business connected to the owner of the Taqueria Barba food truck often seen across from Catalina Coffee on Hemphill just south of Washington in the Heights.

Photos: Marc Longoria (former El Taquito Rico); Swamplot inbox (renovated building)

Heights Wrap-Up

10 Comment

  • Wow …. took a decent looking building and PAID to make a mess of it.

  • I don’t know which design genius decided that rusting tin metal makes for a great outside building material. Has anyone seen the Jason’s Deli on 290 that has this? It makes the building look like it’s falling apart and the rust is running down the wall. Certainly does not make me want a sandwich.

  • I blame Austin.
    Check out uchi on Westheimer, with its weathered metal patio screening, or the late, unlamented Doc’s across the street, resplendent in the sort of patina that can be attained only through time (several hours worth of antiquing). Both had their roots in that fair city.
    If property owners want to transform their buildings into movie sets for Larry McMurtry stories, I suppose it’s their business (and businesses).
    Frankly, any change from the ubiquitous cheap stucco and warped sheet metal panels that clad Houston’s lesser buildings is welcome. There will be more attempts at false history; eventually, this trend will run its course.

  • Does anyone remember the BEST department stores that were purposely made to look like they were crumbling apart? I loved those places back in the late 70’s.

  • I blame TGI Friday’s. I think they popularized restaurants with implanted memories. They would build a brand new building, then cover it with old crap to make it look like it was old. People in the suburbs craved something that looked old.

  • Anything to help me forget the group of ass clowns running the prior establishment, dishing out gristle-laden meat, I’m all for.

  • “(several hours worth of antiquing)”


  • While it’s a little higher ground there, it does flood all around it. I believe the taco restaurant (very loose usage of both these terms) that was there before flooded (thank goodness).

  • Those before pics glamorize it a bit. It looked much worse in person. If they would just paint the metal it would look nice. Design Fail, but Im stoked about walking to tacos. Im fairly sure they dod not flood during Harvey (unless it wass roof leakage)