That’s El folks... Mex­i­can restau­rant to shut in new year

Manchester Evening News - - CITYLIFE - Daisy.jack­[email protected] @Ci­tyLifeManc

THE own­ers be­hind Manch­ester burger joint Solita have an­nounced the im­mi­nent clo­sure of their Mex­i­can restau­rant.

El Ta­quero, which opened back in 2017 be­hind the North­ern Quar­ter branch of Solita, will be ‘clos­ing its doors for­ever’ on Jan­uary 12.

The restau­rant’s own­ers have cited in­creas­ing fi­nan­cial pres­sures and nearby build­ing works for the clo­sure.

The restau­rant on Back Turner Street spe­cialises in au­then­tic fresh­ly­made tacos and que­sadil­las, with a lengthy list of mez­cal, tequila and Mex­i­can beers.

Co-owner Si­mon Pog­son said: “It’s just too much fi­nan­cial pres­sure. I’ve been rid­ing a loss for 18 months now and I just can’t do it any more.

“I re­ally hoped that the qual­ity would rise us up – I re­ally be­lieve in the food we’re cook­ing here, I think it’s great, but we’ve just not got the cus­tomers through the door that we need.”

El Ta­quero sits on one of the North­ern Quar­ter’s back streets, a lo­ca­tion that was af­fected by the de­mo­li­tion of the 19th cen­tury block on Thomas Street.

The beloved his­toric build­ing, which was home to the Al-Faisal curry house, had to be pulled down in 2018 be­cause of a risk of col­lapse.

The site has been a build­ing site ever since, with Kelvin Street com­pletely closed off.

Si­mon said: “The lo­ca­tion’s def­i­nitely part of it. The street’s blocked off and there’s all this build­ing work around, but then the lit­tle back­street curry caffs seem to be okay so I don’t know.

“It’s tough across the whole hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try. Our trade’s dy­ing out – and that’s this close to Christ­mas.

“The Brexit sit­u­a­tion too. Peo­ple just don’t seem to be spend­ing money as freely as they used to.”

Around 10 staff mem­bers are af­fected by the clo­sure, but Si­mon said: “They’ve all been told but we’re go­ing to have a staff meet­ing this week and see what they want to do mov­ing for­ward. I know some are go­ing to move over to the Solita brand.”

Solita, one of Manch­ester’s most beloved burger joints, closed its Prest­wich branch ear­lier this year.

The North­ern Quar­ter branch is cur­rently listed for sale but con­tin­ues to trade as nor­mal, with no an­nounce­ments made.

The news of El Ta­quero’s clo­sure was posted on the restau­rant’s Twit­ter ac­count. The post read: “It is with great sad­ness we an­nounce that we will be clos­ing our doors for­ever after the 12th of Jan. We would like to take this op­por­tu­nity to thank our cus­tomers who have sup­ported our vi­sion of bring­ing real Mex­i­can food to Manch­ester. Muchas Gra­cias.” Twit­ter users have voiced their sym­pa­thies to the group, with one user say­ing: “Such a shame. Lo­ca­tion wouldn’t help. Lovely food and staff.” An­other wrote: “Ter­ri­ble news. Best restau­rant in Manch­ester and cer­tainly the best Mex­i­can food I’ve eaten out­side of Mex­ico.”

El Ta­quero co-owner Si­mon Pog­son

El Ta­quero is due to shut its doors next month

Solita con­tin­ues to trade as nor­mal

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