One of Austin’s oldest Mexican restaurants will serve its final customers next week, as El Azteca (2600 E. Seventh St.) will close after service on Sept. 29. Jorge D. Guerra and Ninfa Guerra founded the restaurant in 1963.
The restaurant, known for its colorful calendars, serves Tex-Mex staples such as enchiladas and tacos and earned a name for itself on the strength of dishes like juicy cabrito, rich chicken mole and barbacoa de cabeza.
“Barrio restaurants owned by people who had a strong sense of community are (becoming) a thing of the past and that’s a shame. But between the proliferation of chains, the gentrification, increased property values and the aging of long time barrio residents, those kinds of places are difficult to sustain,” former Statesman editorial page editor Arnold Garcia wrote in an email.
The restaurant has been a cultural touchstone and meeting place for the East Austin community over the decades, and Austin music great Alejandro Escovedo even told Anthony Bourdain that it was the first place he ever dined in Austin. (See that clip from “No Reservations” at the 27-minute mark here.)
The Guerra family has not made public the name of the buyer.