The last few months of lockdown in South Africa have prompted numerous restaurant closures, but it’s not entirely doom and gloom as the industry sees the adaption of business models and new strategies emerge. One of these brands is El Burro, the much-loved and extremely popular Mexican restaurant in Green Point. In April, the group will be transforming its original El Burro into an El Burro Taqueria in the space where its bar, Cabrito, is currently located. Unsurprisingly the move comes as a response to the devastating effects of the pandemic.
“The reduction of 150 seats to 70 seats with big overheads is not sustainable,” says owner Nic Harhoff. “With the large menu format, we’ve seen a reduction in the spend per head. People seem to prefer the taqueria/tapas-style menu where they can spend R40 or R400 and not be committed to R150 dishes.” He says that the taqueria model has been very successful and pandemic-resilient in that it’s smaller and easier to manage.
There’s no doubt that the new space will have the same appealing buzz and cosy, casual atmosphere of the Tamboerskloof El Burro Taqueria branch – where you can pop in for a quick bite or while away the evening chatting with a margarita in hand.
In the Instagram post, the team show their appreciation for their Green Point landlords, Eed and Tim Harbich, saying: “Your support from day 1 back in 2010, and especially over this pandemic is immeasurable.”
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Nic says that the primary goal is to retain jobs. “Many of our staff have been with us from the very beginning and I think this change will be good for morale – they’ll have a brand-new kitchen downstairs and it’ll be something new and fresh.”
We’re certainly excited that the legendary taqueria fish taco will find another new home on the other side of Buitengracht Street.