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Slowed by a loss, Azuls Taco House plans third location in Dallas

Statesman Journal (Salem) logo Statesman Journal (Salem) 7/25/2020 Emily Teel, Salem Statesman Journal

Just a few months have passed since Augustine "J" Razo, Jr. and Tino Land opened their second location of Azuls Taco House in downtown Salem, and they're already working on a third. 

The food truck entrepreneurs behind JT's Taqueria, Black Rock Barbacoa and Vagabond Brewing's food service opened Azuls Taco House, their first brick-and-mortar business, in West Salem in May 2019. They opened Azuls Downtown a year later. 

a tray of food on a plate: A variety of tacos are pictured at Azuls Taco House in west Salem on April 30, 2019. © MICHAELA ROMÁN / STATESMAN JOURNAL A variety of tacos are pictured at Azuls Taco House in west Salem on April 30, 2019.

The third Azuls Taco House is heading for 156 SE Mill Street in downtown Dallas, the storefront that was most recently home to Courtyard Cafe. 

Goodbye to a longtime breakfast spot

Tony and Tori Garcia had big dreams when they bought Dallas' Courtyard Cafe last fall. They made substantial cosmetic renovations to the breakfast and lunch space and reopened in December.

When coronavirus arrived in Oregon, however, the couple realized they didn't have the resources yet banked to maintain the cafe operations amidst the pandemic.

"We weren't financially ready," said Tony, to continue operating on a limited basis through the pandemic. "The most reasonable option was just to go ahead and close it down."

They listed the restaurant for sale. Tony Garcia said they hope to revisit the possibility of opening another restaurant in the future. 

More: Table FIVE 08 joins list of restaurants closed permanently by coronavirus

A next step in a time of loss

On July 2, Tino and Marilyn Land's teenage son Izaiah Stephenson was killed in a car crash in Dallas. The crash happened just days after Land and Razo shared a Facebook post about their plans to expand Azuls to a third location. 

Salem's restaurant community has rallied around the Land family. Several businesses including Taproot, King's Kitchen, Adam's Rib and others donated a portion of weekend sales amounting to more than $3,200, to help show support in a difficult time.  

Related Facebook post

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Razo expressed gratitude on behalf of his business partner.

"We're just giving him the full support he needs to try to keep our heads up and keep moving." 

They had planned to open in mid-July, but now project an August opening instead. Razo called the project "90 percent there" waiting on approval of a liquor license. 

Once open, the new restaurant will offer the same menu and beers as the other two locations. 

Emily Teel is the Food & Drink Editor at the Statesman Journal. Contact her at eteel@statesmanjournal.com, Facebook, or Twitter. See what she's cooking and where she's eating this week on Instagram: @emily_teel

This article originally appeared on Salem Statesman Journal: Slowed by a loss, Azuls Taco House plans third location in Dallas

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