Looks like potential trouble for Gardens of Taxco, the indispensable West Hollywood Mexican restaurant that’s been serving diners since 1971. And according to sources, the usual suspects may well be to blame: landlords looking to change the terms of a lease.
Insiders are currently putting the timeline at two months off before Gardens of Taxco could be forced into new digs, unless something changes between restaurant ownership and the building's landlords. A call to the restaurant last night led management to say that they're trying to work things out with the landlords, but that lease issues have not been solved as of yet, so the whole thing is still very much up in the air.
Sadly the tale of back-and-forth between restaurants and their landlords is nothing new, particularly for West Hollywood, as places like Irv’s Burgers have been similarly forced from their longtime homes to make way for changes in the ‘hood. In their case, Irv's ownership was able to find a suitable space not far down the street, but many fans believed that there is still something lost in a beloved restaurant being given the boot from their original, iconic location.
As is clear to just about anyone who’s spent time cruising down Santa Monica Boulevard through WeHo, there are already a number of empty storefronts to look at, which raises the question of just how massive the alleged rent jump for Gardens of Taxco would be, and what other operators might be willing to pay the higher price instead. Even places with planned development already in the works, like the now defunct French Quarter building, have been seemingly struggling to get off the ground.
As for Gardens of Taxco, the time-warping restaurant is beloved in the neighborhood, which could well help them with any relocation needs should it come to that. Known for its dim throwback interior and lack of written menus, the Mexican restaurant has become an important, if delightfully kitschy, part of the greater L.A. restaurant landscape. More on this one as it comes.