A beloved Tex-Mex restaurant in Dallas' Oak Cliff neighborhood will be serving its last taco plates this weekend. El Corazon de Tejas restaurant is closing on Sunday, April 30, confirmed John Cuellar, one of its owners and operators.
The news comes just weeks after fans lamented the possibility of El Corazon's closing. The reason? JR's Demolition filed for a demolition permit, which the city approved. At the time, Cuellar told The Dallas Morning News he had no immediate plans to close the restaurant. Speaking by phone Wednesday, however, he said the building had been sold and the landlord had terminated the lease.
The management of the restaurant made the decision to accept that notice Wednesday morning, Cuellar said.
Many say El Corazon's shuttering is not only a loss because of the food, but also because of the history. Cuellar comes from a long line of Dallas restaurateurs, the same one that founded the original El Chico in 1940. The building where El Corazon resides now was built in 1955 as an El Chico by Cuellar's family. In 1983, it changed names to Tejano, he said. In 2013, it was renamed El Corazon de Tejas -- the heart of Texas.
Dallas City Councilman Scott Griggs, who presides over Oak Cliff, was vocally upset about the potential for a CVS pharmacy to be erected in the restaurant's place. On Facebook Wednesday, he posted that he had spoken with the development company, which "implied the contract of sale was already signed or imminent and the demolition of the building would be occurring very soon."
"I indicated my disappointment that the building wasn't being saved. Mr. Price stated that the building has no historic significance," Griggs said. "I also indicated my disappointment that Oak Cliff isn't given the opportunity to to collaborate on the design. Mr. Price had no comment."
While Cuellar has a sentimental attachment to the El Corazon building at 110 W. Davis St., he's not dwelling on it. Instead, he's pursuing his other ventures; for example, Cuellar's Fajita Ranch in Plano, which he owns and operates. Cuellar is also currently looking for a location to house another restaurant, the name of which is to-be-decided. (His niece Alycen Cuellar also owns the Local Oak in Bishop Arts District.)
"We've been in this location for six decades, been in business for nine decades and we hope to serve Tex-Mex for many decades to come," Cuellar said.
Want one last bite? El Corazon de Tejas is located at 110 W. Davis St. in Dallas.