Around Town

Taqueria el Poblano staying open through the summer, now set to close in August

Taqueria el Poblano on Columbia Pike (staff photo by Matt Blitz)

(Updated at 11:25 a.m.) Taqueria el Poblano on Columbia Pike is staying open for a few more months after all.

In March, ARLnow reported that the local staple known for its margaritas was set to close its Pike location by the end of this month. However, co-owner Thomas Stevens tells ARLnow that they’ve since come to an agreement with the property owner BM Smith to extend the restaurant’s lease at 2401 Columbia Pike until the end of August. He says it became clear that regulars wanted them to stay open through the summer.

At that point, though, it will be “end of our time on the Pike,” Stevens says.

The other two locations of the Southern California-inspired Mexican restaurant, at Arlington’s Lee-Harrison Shopping Center and also the original in Alexandria’s Del Ray neighborhood, will remain open, he says.

Taqueria el Poblano said in March that it was closing due to decreasing revenue and increasing rent at its Pike location. Stevens told ARLnow at the time that this location had fewer regulars than the others and didn’t have enough volume of sales to cover rent.

“For whatever reason, this one doesn’t do the same business as the others,” he said.

The shuttering of one of Penrose Square’s first tenants comes as a couple of new redevelopment projects get underway on Columbia Pike.

The Fillmore Gardens shopping center is set for demolition and will be replaced by The Elliott on the 2600 block of Columbia Pike. That new development is expected to be completed in 2025.

A few blocks down the Pike, structures and buildings have already started going up at the former site of the Westmont shopping center (and the first Five Guys). That development will include 250 market rate apartments and retail space.

Since the story came out earlier this spring about Taqueria el Poblano’s imminent closing, Stevens says he’s had a lot of people come in asking and expressing sadness about the shuttering.

But customers will now have at least three more months to enjoy tacos and margaritas.

“Hopefully, word spreads,” Stevens says.

Hat tip to John Antonelli