Sophie Bolich

Zocalo Tavern Closing For Renovations, Meat & Co. Exits

Tavern reopening set for Nov. 9. Food park vendors will remain in operation throughout changes.

By - Oct 27th, 2023 04:57 pm
Site of Zocalo Food Park, 636 S. 6th St. Photo taken Jan. 15, 2023 by Sophie Bolich.

Site of Zocalo Food Park, 636 S. 6th St. Photo taken Jan. 15, 2023 by Sophie Bolich.

The Tavern at Zocalo Food Park will go dark for nearly two weeks for renovations and internal changes, Zocalo leadership announced in a press release earlier this week.

The tavern space, 636 S. 6th St., will be closed from Oct. 30 until Nov. 9, returning to service with a new look and refreshed menu.

And while the tavern’s closure is temporary, Meat & Co.‘s is not. The restaurant, serving burgers, sandwiches and flavor-packed sides, will have its final day of service at the food park on Sunday, Oct. 29.

During the coming weeks, Zocalo’s six remaining vendors will continue service as usual, while the beverage program temporarily relocates to a satellite bar at The Shop.

Jesus Gonzalez and Sean Phelan, co-owners of Zocalo, said they have made steady changes to “every piece” of the food park since its 2019 opening. The tavern is up next.

The building that houses the tavern was inspired by Frida Kahlo‘s Casa Azul; the artist’s dwelling-turned-art museum is located in Mexico City. Zocalo’s version was created by local designer Gloria Santos Ruiz, who infused bright colors and other homages into the cozy interior.

But that’s slated to change. “While the tavern will look different, its values remain,” Gonzalez and Phelan said in a statement. “We will continue to be the meeting point of our people — serving handcrafted cocktails and offering a comfortable place for people from all walks of life.”

In addition to a new look, the tavern will reopen with new leadership. Rudy Montoya will take over as manager, bringing fresh ideas — and cocktail recipes — to the position.

Guests can look forward to Montoya’s spicy cilantro margarita, blueberry mojito and other new offerings.

Throughout the renovation process, Zocalo’s event coordinator will continue working with guests to book private parties. Event inquiries can be submitted online.

The Nov. 9 reopening will also coincide with the return of Zocalo’s winter huts. The heated, transparent shelters can fit up to 12 people. Reservations for winter huts can be made online.

Zocalo will host a final event on Friday, Oct. 27, before its upcoming closure. The public is invited to a Halloween Roller Disco at the food park from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Guests are encouraged to arrive in costume with their own rollerblades or roller skates. Soul Collective is presenting the event, which will feature tunes from DJ Fuzzy Logic, drink specials and eats from Zocalo vendors.

Tickets are available for purchase online ($10) or at the door ($20).

Meat & Co. Closure

Zocalo on Friday afternoon announced the upcoming closure of Meat & Co., which has operated at the food park since 2022.

The concept started as a pandemic-era pop-up from Ben Crevensten, who also previously operated Hot Wax at Crossroads Collective. The chef now leads the kitchen at downtown’s LP.

During its tenure at Zocalo, Meat & Co. offered a variety of meat-heavy handhelds including a chopped cheese sandwich, Milwaukee brat and its popular smashburger.

Despite what its name suggests, the restaurant also had a selection of plant-based and vegetarian options including a seasonal tomato sandwich and a fried eggplant sandwich with fresh mozzarella.

Sides such as cracked pepper and smoked salt roasted potatoes with smoky mayo drizzle and basil latkes were also available.

Crevensten shared a brief statement on social media Friday regarding the closure.

“Thank you everyone for your support for Meat & Co.,” he wrote. “We had a beautiful experience at Zocalo Food Park. Stay fresh!”

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Categories: Food & Drink

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