A few weeks ago, Oak Cliff got up in arms over the news that beloved Tex-Mex restaurant El Corazon's owners had filed a demolition permit for the historic building, which was built in the 1940s. A developer that works with CVS wants to raze the building to build retail – namely a CVS – in its place.
This did not sit well with many Oak Cliff residents who say the neighborhood has enough pharmacy franchises but an increasingly few number of historic buildings. Even City Council member Scott Griggs weighed in on Facebook, telling constituents, "I am opposed to a standard construction CVS ... that will damage the character of our neighborhood at this location."
In response to the uproar, John Cuellar, one of El Corazon's owners, did an interview with CultureMap, telling them the restaurant will be open "indefinitely." "One of the main points I want to make is that these early condolences are extremely premature, and we're going to be serving for the indefinite future as we have for several decades," Cuellar told CultureMap. He called rumors of their closing "misinformation" and said the permits that had been filed were just part of a negotiating process with developers.
But this morning, El Corazon announced via email that the restaurant will close on April 30:
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To all our friends,
After over four years of success at El Corazon, we must inform you that our building is being sold and our lease has ended. Therefore, El Corazon will be closing at the end of business on Sunday, April 30, 2017.
For all of you who are suppliers to El Corazon, we thank you for all of your services and products and for helping to make us the Best Tex-Mex in Dallas in 2016 and 2017! We could not have done it without your help. If you have equipment or supplies that you need to pick up, we will be in the building from May 2 until May 12. Please contact Nick Gonzalez at 214-274-6181 to make arrangements.
To everyone else, we thank you for all of your support and patronage and for promoting El Corazon throughout our time. We will sorely miss each and everyone of you.
We plan to re-establish El Corazon in another location with the same menu and recipes as early as this summer. But for now, we invite you to visit Fajita Ranch in Plano. Many of our El Corazon team will be relocating there until the new location opens; so you will be among old friends.
We wish all of you the best for a prosperous future and thank you for celebrating four wonderful years of Vintage Tex-Mex at El Corazon de Tejas.
Thank you and God Bless.
Gilbert Cuellar Jr.
That corner of Oak Cliff, at the edge of Bishop Arts, is about to see a lot of change, and the loss of El Corazon is only a small part of it.
Update: Council Member Scott Griggs spoke with the developer that bought El Corazon, and, well, here's how that went down, via a post on Griggs' Facebook page:
I spoke with Jason Price of Orange Development about El Corazon. Mr. Price indicated that a CVS is planned for the site and his group has completed the design and plans for the CVS.
Mr. Price implied the contract of sale was already signed or imminent and the demolition of the building would be occurring very soon.
I indicated my disappointment that the building wasn't being saved. Mr. Price stated that the building has no historic significance. I also indicated my disappointment that Oak Cliff isn't given the opportunity to to collaborate on the design. Mr. Price had no comment.
Mr. Price also indicated that he has been lurking on my Facebook page and reading my posts.
Please come to Oak Cliff and meet our great people. I believe you and CVS can work with our community to save the building and put a wonderful CVS in the building. Can we at least try?
Very truly yours,
Scott Griggs & Oak Cliff