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Two Friends From Mexico City Will Bring New Life to a Legendary Mission District Tamale Parlor

Hector Ordaz and Norberto Granillo are opening Tacos del Barrio in the former Roosevelt Tamale Parlor space

Roosevelt Tamale Parlor
Tacos del Barrio is taking over Roosevelt Tamale Parlor’s former location.
Paolo Bicchieri is a reporter at Eater SF writing about Bay Area restaurant and bar trends, coffee and cafes, and pop-ups.

When Roosevelt Tamale Parlor closed in September 2022 it took 100 years of Mission District culinary history with it. Now there are would-be inheritors to that lineage taking over the lease at 2817 24th Street. The San Francisco Standard reports newcomer Tacos del Barrio will open on May 5 from co-owners Hector Ordaz and Norberto Granillo, two childhood friends from Mexico City.

Ordaz brings cooking chops from Umami Burger, Gott’s Roadside, and the now-closed Cafe de Paris L’Entrecote to the project. Guests can expect tacos and quesadillas, but also ceviche, aguachile, guacamole, and chicharrones. And, according to the outlet, the owners aren’t taking the history of the location lightly. Neighbors still miss Roosevelt Tamale Parlor and asked the two to keep the red and green neon signage. “We want to do that for the community,” Ordaz told the Standard. “We really respect their history.”

Los Gatos BBQ favorite reopens at long last

The Cats, a roadhouse at 17533 Santa Cruz Highway with roots dating back to 1896, just reopened under new ownership. The East Bay Times reports entrepreneur Richard Tam’s business ChefCentury is behind the rebirth, with Adrian Pham — a North Carolina cook with barbecue chops — as the new executive chef. Tam also hired a wagyu specialist, Rafael Lim of Angry Cow Master Cuts, to ensure the Cats begins its new tenure with a bang. Tam plans to “build upon the ChefCentury model by introducing other chefs and adding their culinary specialties,” the outlet writes.

San Francisco mall restaurants struggling amidst downtown withdrawal

With major retailers including Nordstrom and Whole Foods pulling out of San Francisco’s downtown, what happens to the food businesses inside a Union Square mall? The Chronicle reports that while the Westfield Mall chose not to comment on vacancies, reporters for the paper counted six empty storefronts in the food hall. Dat Thieu, the owner of Westfield’s Umai Savory Hot Dogs, told the Chronicle sales are about 30 percent lower than he anticipated when opening in 2021.

Iconic East Bay Southern food restaurant finds new life

Richmond’s Mississippi Catfish just reopened in El Sobrante inside Champions Sports Bar & Grill. Known for its eponymous catfish and butterflied shrimp, the restaurant closed its 12440 San Pablo Avenue location in March.