Stay in the Loop

After Fire, Well-Loved Taqueria Lands In The North Loop

Less than two months after fire destroyed El Taco Riendo in northeast Minneapolis, it’s settling into a temporary new home—selling tacos, burritos and nachos to go, out of a North Loop brewpub.

ONE Fermentary, which has been relegated to selling takeout growlers and crowlers during the COVID-19 outbreak, recently decided to resume a little food service as well. And general manager Kate Winkel said El Taco Riendo would be a great fit.

“They have amazing food, they’ve been part of the Northeast community forever, and I thought this would be a great opportunity to kind of introduce them to the North Loop,” she said.

The plan came together rather quickly, and the restaurant is starting off with only Friday and Saturday sales, but if things go well, they intend to add more days. 

At the outset, they’re not able to take phone or online orders; it’s all walk-up ordering from a hand-written menu board. They’re using ONE’s ovens and refrigerators for storage and prep while preparing the meat offsite in advance.

ONE Co-owner Sally Schmidt said it’s been a tough time for everyone in the hospitality industry, and she’s hoping this will be a mutually beneficial arrangement.

“I’m hoping that maybe some Northeast people will come here for the first time because they’re coming for tacos,” she said, “and then they’re gonna get some beer and take it with them.”

The brewpub had to let all but two of their employees go when they closed for indoor sales in March. “For us, it’s mostly been just sad because we had just opened (in November) and we were doing really well,” she said.

Right now, they’re also losing out on the crowds that would have been headed to Target Field to see the Twins, just a couple blocks away.

“This is one way we’re trying to be creative and think of ways to stay top of mind more than anything else,” Schmidt said, “because when we open back up, we want to be one of the survivors.”

By Mike Binkley, North Loop Neighborhood Association