A Tuscaloosa Mexican restaurant whose location on Skyland Boulevard permanently closed last year will soon open a new spot on the banks of the Black Warrior River downtown.

Lupe's Taqueria earned a reputation as a genuine hidden gem in their space next to America's Thrift Store & Donation Center on Skyland.

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There, the family-run restaurant was praised for its authentic cuisine and in-vogue entrees like the beef birria tacos and fresh-squeezed lime margaritas


The Skyland location closed last year, though, and restaurateur Jose Avieneda told the Tuscaloosa City Council he has been looking to bring the Lupes brand back to the Druid City.

Last week, he got one step closer to that goal when the council voted to grant a liquor license to Avieneda for a new concept called Loco Lupes off Jack Warner Parkway in the Riverfront Village development near the Heritage House coffee shop and Hotel Indigo.

Avieneda said the new restaurant will offer a full food menu, margaritas and more, but in the heart of downtown Tuscaloosa, and said it could be open in around a month.

(Stephen Dethrage | Tuscaloosa Thread)
(Stephen Dethrage | Tuscaloosa Thread)

At the meeting during which the application was OK'd last Tuesday, mayor Walt Maddox warned Avieneda that the new restaurant will likely have a tough hill to climb during their first few months in business as closed roads make getting to the riverfront trickier than normal.

(Stephen Dethrage | Tuscaloosa Thread)
(Stephen Dethrage | Tuscaloosa Thread)

Maddox said the estimated completion of the seemingly endless project to relocate utilities on Jack Warner Parkway has been pushed from September to October. No one seemed to be working at the site Wednesday.

Maddox said the city's office of Economic Development would work with Avieneda and the Lupes team to make sure their growing pains are as negligible as the situation allows.

For more on the restaurant as they near opening and for other exclusive stories about restaurant and retail development in West Alabama, stay connected to the Tuscaloosa Thread.

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