Guerrilla Tacos has undergone many changes, big and small, in the years since it started as a bootstrapped taco cart. Earlier this year, the truck expanded its geographic reach beyond DTLA and Culver City with stops in Venice, Beverly Grove, and Silver Lake. It is also an anchoring presence at Smorgasburg every Sunday, where sweet potato tacos with feta and almond chile and uni-topped tostadas consistently draw a crowd. And the truck recently celebrated its fourth anniversary with a party in Boyle Heights where chef Wes Avila announced the biggest news yet—Guerrilla Tacos will finally exist as a brick-and-mortar.
Avila revealed that the restaurant will be in the Arts District, where it all began. In a video made to announce the news, renderings can be seen of the restaurant space, including one of a bar, so a liquor license is definitely in the works. The menu will be similar to what is being served now: a selection of tacos with a few specialty items. The street address was not given, but the word at the party was that it’s near Wurstküche and Blacktop Coffee, where Guerrilla Tacos made many stops in the past.
Avila recently traded in that beloved blue taco truck for a shiny new white one and is actively looking for artists to deck out the exterior. This of course has led to speculation as to whether the truck would continue to run after the restaurant comes online. According to business partner Brittney Valles, “The truck will retire once the restaurant opens. We may bring back a small catering truck, but definitely not for a while.”
While that will be unfortunate news for many customers, it is not an unexpected trade-off in order to have a permanent location that’ll be open in the evenings. In Avila’s speech at the party, he said he hopes the restaurant will become a hangout spot on Saturday nights, and, especially with a liquor license, that should be an easy thing to accomplish. When it opens, Guerrilla Tacos Arts District is expected to have around 90 seats, “with a beautiful patio complete with an outdoor bar and festival style seating,” per Valles. They’re going for a backyard BBQ vibe, apparently inspired by the cookouts chef Avila’s dad used to host.
It will still take some time for the restaurant to open. Summer 2017 is the official planned time frame for the grand opening, so fans of the Guerrilla Tacos mobile experience will still have potentially 9-12 months to hit the truck at its various stops around town.