AUSTIN (KXAN/Austin Business Journal) — After many close calls, Maria’s Taco Xpress in South Austin is closing at the end of 2020.
The restaurant started as a food trailer in 1997 and became a full-scale restaurant on South Lamar Boulevard in 2006. The property is now under contract to an unnamed Austin-based investment company, and the sale is expected to be finalized in November. It’s the latest in a string of recent longtime restaurant closures in Austin — from Magnolia Cafe to Shady Grove.
Bradley Bailey and Adam Rabin of CBRE represented restaurant owner Maria Corbalan in the sale. Britt Morrison and Brett Maze of Weitzman Group represented the buyer.
Back in June 2017, Maria’s was saved from a previously announced closure when customers turned out to prevent it from happening.
But even then, Corbalan said the challenges were still ahead due to high property taxes.
“Right now, it’s totally out of control. I haven’t paid myself a salary in a whole year. Why? Because I have to give it to the tax people,” said Corbalan.
The Austin restaurant scene has been severely impacted during the COVID-19 pandemic, with research performed by Yelp finding that nearly 1,500 business in the Austin-Round Rock area have closed, either temporarily or entirely.
More recently, a September survey from the Texas Restaurant Association says half of restaurants in the state could close within the next six months — if they don’t receive financial assistance.
While Gov. Greg Abbott expanded the dine-in capacity for Texas restaurants earlier this month, for many restaurants, it may already be too late.
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