After pulling through a series of unfortunate events, Taqueria Durango is opening its doors again this weekend.
In early March 2020 – before COVID-19 lockdowns swept the nation – the Mexican restaurant was destroyed by an early-morning fire.
"It was actually 100 percent loss," says Angelica Lopez, daughter of owners Miguel and Isidora Lopez. "So we had to clean up every single thing. It's been hard."
Several restaurant owners rallied behind Taqueria Durango – including Guerrilla Street Food's Brian Hardesty, who started a GoFundMe for the family – but within days, they were scrambling themselves to survive the biggest obstacle for the industry in modern history. Plus, any sort of gatherings were suddenly out of the question.
"There were actually three fundraisers that were cancelled," Lopez says. "And we get it, we understand, we really appreciate and we'll be grateful for those intentions."
And yet, 15 months later, the taqueria has pulled through and will reopen its doors Sat., June 12 on Page Avenue.
In addition to the restaurant, the family also owns a grocery store and a banquet hall in the same building as Taqueria Durango. With banquet hall events screeching to a complete stop, the grocery store – after a brief closure to repair damage associated with the fire – became the family's only source of revenue from the three businesses.
In the year that passed, while the restaurant did offer orders of tamales for special occasions, fans of Taqueria Durango contacted Lopez every week asking when it would reopen and even if they could order curbside pickup of their classic Mexican fare, which makes the return exciting – even during a tumultuous time.
"We're happy, we're excited, at the same time we're nervous," Lopez says. "We know things have changed throughout COVID, and there's a lot of restaurants that have suffered."
Aside from a fresh space, guests can expect the same menu that they love from Taqueria Durango with a few new additions.
Taqueria Durango will be open Monday through Thursday from 11am to 9pm, Friday from 11am to 10pm, Saturday from 10am to 10pm and Sunday from 10am to 8pm.
Taqueria Durango, 10238 Page Ave., Overland, Missouri, 314.429.1113, facebook.com/TaqueriaDurangoSaintLouis