Openings and Closings

Trompo in Oak Cliff Closes, Making Way for Bulldozers

Trompo in the Bishop Arts District served their last taco on Christmas Eve.
Trompo in the Bishop Arts District served their last taco on Christmas Eve. Lauren Drewes Daniels
Austin used to have parking spots. Lots. Everywhere. And traffic wasn’t bad. One could just drive to a concert at Zilker Park, park in a dirt lot and not even sweat the traffic. There was a peculiar energy across the city, some may say “weird,” that made everyone want to be an Austinite.

Well, word got out and now the city is a shell of what it used to be. A carcass flanked by tall cranes and shiny glass. Big fat sad sigh.

The Bishop Arts District is undergoing an Austin treatment, albeit on a much smaller scale. An organically cool neighborhood that attracts people with a variety of restaurants and colorful bars. It had an easy energy with a mix of locals and foodies, and it still does in some spaces. Early adopters moved to be a part of the neighborhood and are now moving in with mom because their house is getting replaced by an apartment complex with much higher rent.

Parking? Ha! Good luck. Just driving any of the streets that run east and west is akin to playing Frogger. You better get down that narrow path before anyone comes at you from the opposite direction.
click to enlarge The gate is locked at The Local Oak. - LAUREN DREWES DANIELS
The gate is locked at The Local Oak.
Lauren Drewes Daniels
One of our favorite taco spots, Trompo, closed on Christmas Eve. Owner Luis Olvera says their space is scheduled to be bulldozed. A couple of blocks over, another restaurant and bar we're fond of, The Local Oak, closed last week. It's the same story: making way for a multi-use high rise. And Ten Bells Tavern is on the move, too.

Olvera is obviously sad to leave the neighborhood. Oak Cliff is where he got his start as the owner of a small taqueria on Singleton Boulevard. In 2016, Bon Appetit named Trompo one of the best new restaurants in America. In 2019, Olvera opened his window-service space on 10th Street in Bishop Arts with a large courtyard.
Fans and loyal customers shouldn’t be sad for long though.

“Oak Cliff is my home. Trompo started in my backyard, and we are aggressively pursuing another spot in the neighborhood," Olvera said.

For now, those who need a taco fix can visit his new(ish) location in East Dallas, where he says they’re getting established in the neighborhood.

“We’re meeting our neighbors, and honestly this will be a nice refresh for East Dallas,” Olvera says. The Oak Cliff location required a lot of time and attention, and now he looks forward to reinvigorating this spot. He plans to get back to pop-ups, “back to our roots and things that fueled us in the beginning.”

We still love the Bishop Arts District, but we hate to see our favorites having to move or close down. 
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Lauren Drewes Daniels is the Dallas Observer's food editor. She started writing about local restaurants, chefs, beer and kouign-amanns in 2011. She's driven through two dirt devils and is certain they were both some type of cosmic force.