Taceaux Loceaux, a pioneer of the modern food truck scene in New Orleans, will soon have its own restaurant.

Renovations are underway to open a brick-and-mortar version of the popular taco slinger at 737 Octavia St.

The storefront, just off a busy stretch of Magazine Street, was previously a location of the Middle Eastern eatery Byblos, and was for years the bistro Flaming Torch. 

Taceaux Loceaux proprietor Alex Del Castillo said he hopes to open by late May.

“It will be the food we’ve been doing, plus more stuff that we can do now that we’ll have our own place,” Del Castillo said.

Once the restaurant opens, the truck will take a hiatus for some maintenance, but it will soon rejoin the local street food circuit.  

“Then it will be back better than ever,” Del Castillo said of the truck. “We’ll have more staff, we’ll have the restaurant to back it up, so we can look at our routes and see about adding more trucks eventually.”

The Taceaux Loceaux restaurant will have counter service and a full bar.

Taceaux Loceaux first hit the streets in 2010, early days for the local food truck trend. Alex and Beth Del Castillo bought an old barbecue truck and started serving a menu of creative tacos with memorable names. The brisket-based “messin’ with Texas” has been on the menu all along, for instance, along with the "Seoul man" with Korean-style chicken and “carnital knowledge,” made with griddled pork carnitas.

The couple leveraged social media to promote their mobile business at a time when restaurants were just testing the waters of such strategies. Soon, the truck began drawing regulars to the bars where it sets up shop, making spots like the Kingpin and Dos Jefes Cigar Bar reliable destinations for quick, inexpensive meals. 

They have been working on plans for a restaurant for years, and Del Castillo acknowledged that several promising earlier prospects fell through. But with a lease signed and a round of light remodeling work now underway, he said the Octavia Street eatery is a done deal.

“It’s been a long time coming, and this is such a great location, we couldn’t pass it up,” he said.

The eatery will be laid back — “basically, like the taco truck but with our own space,” Del Castillo said — and he’s confident the food will translate smoothly.

“The food is dialed in,” he said. “The nice thing is, if you can make it work on a truck, you can make it work anywhere.”

New plans for old Maximo's

The Decatur Street restaurant Trinity (1117 Decatur St.) has closed, just about three years after it debuted with a bid to raise the ranks of upscale dining in its part of the French Quarter.

The restaurant served its last meal on April 22. However, owner Hugh Uhalt said he has plans for a new concept to take over the space later this year. He said he wasn't ready to detail the new plan, but he sounded upbeat about the change.

“We think it will fit the neighborhood better. There’s a lot of people who do well down here, and we just think we needed to change the concept,” Uhalt said.

Trinity opened in May 2016, taking over an address that had long been home to the upscale/casual Italian restaurant Maximo’s. That restaurant had been a French Quarter hot spot for years, beginning in the 1980s. However, Maximo's had gone through a few iterations before quietly closing in 2015.

Uhalt, a local developer, bought the property and completed a renovation that flowed across the long front bar, the main dining room with its open kitchen and dining bar and a second-floor dining room, with outdoor seating on a gallery over Decatur Street.

Trinity served a contemporary Creole menu with a touch of Asian flavors. It was a notable addition for upscale dining in a part of town thick with casual restaurants and touristy spots.

Angeline, an impressive upscale modern Southern restaurant two blocks away, closed last year around this time. Part of the Hotel Provincial, Angeline's space is now run by the hotel and is no longer an independent restaurant.

Like its neighbors along the block, Trinity’s building was once owned by the Ursuline nuns, whose historic Old Ursuline Convent abuts the property.

By the 1920s, when this part of the Quarter was full of Italian groceries and food distributors tied to the nearby French Market, the building was home to a fruit company. That’s when its distinctive plasterwork façade with decorative cornucopias was added.


Follow Ian McNulty on Twitter, @IanMcNultyNOLA.