Guy Fieri changed Jesus Carmona’s life. That’s how Carmona explains it.
When Fieri’s Food Network show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives featured Tacos Mariachion Singleton Boulevard in West Dallas in early 2018, Carmona’s already popular restaurant became nationally known. And when Food Network airs re-runs featuring his restaurant, “the line is through the door,” Carmona says. Still.
Carmona hopes to build upon the hype surrounding his restaurant when he opens a second Tacos Mariachi, this one on Greenville Avenue in Dallas. The expected opening will be late November 2018, he says.
“I think with everything going on with Guy Fieri, and the cover of D Magazine [which touted Dallas as a great taco city], it’s time to open the second location — without losing focus on my baby,” he says. His “baby” is the original Tacos Mariachi, the brightly-colored dining room that seats just 35 people.
Tacos Mariachi on Greenville Avenue will have room for twice as many people — about 70 inside, 20 on the patio — and will be located across the street from Trader Joe’s, in place of Crisp Salad Company, which has closed.
Despite recent closures on Greenville Avenue like Yucatan Taco Stand, BBBop Seoul Kitchen, Blind Butcher and Pints & Quarts, Carmona is not worried about opening a fast-casual restaurant in the neighborhood. “If you have good food, good service, people will find you,” he says.
Jon Hetzel, partner at Madison Partners who helps place restaurants in leases on Greenville Avenue, says the initial idea on Greenville Avenue was to “create a critical mass of fast-casual” with the hopes that it would become a destination for diners who wanted to stop by Greenville Avenue for a quick bite. While that plan didn’t work out in every case, he says there are still fast-casual restaurants in Greenville Avenue doing well, like Greenville Avenue Pizza Company (which also has a healthy delivery business) and retail shops like T-shirt shop Bullzerk and dessert shop Dude, Sweet Chocolate.
“You’re always going to have a couple of spaces that turn in a given year … even in highly successful areas like McKinney Avenue [in Uptown] or Elm Street in Deep Ellum,” he says. “Lowest Greenville is a bit of a destination for a number of people. So it has to be something that draws them there.”
Carmona’s tacos might fall into that category. His most popular items, an octopus taco and a side of mole fries, will of course be available on Greenville Avenue. Carmona says he may “consolidate” the menu a bit but wants the new Tacos Mariachi to look and feel like a sibling to the original.
He was looking all over Dallas-Fort Worth for the next place to open a Tacos Mariachi, even searching as far as Plano and Fort Worth.
“For some reason, I ended up coming back to Greenville,” he says.
Tacos Mariachi will be located at 2020 Greenville Ave., Dallas. It’s expected to open in late November.