About seven months ago, El Padrino, the little taco stand, was kicked out of its space in November 2012 to make room for a new Lombardi restaurant. Word came that Sarah Lombardi was opening a hot dogs and frozen custard place called the Dog House, which would’ve taken over the El Padrino space. Go Oak Cliff’s Rob Shearer said The Mercantile had the tagline of “eatery, taproom, and commons.”
But now none of that is happening. A spokesperson for the restaurant sent out a release yesterday that says, “As construction progressed on the Mercantile, a restaurant in the Bishop Arts District to be developed by Sarah Lombardi, a decision was made to cancel the plans to open the concept. A combination of budgets and costs associated with retrofitting and renovating a historic structure was the basis for the decision.”
Will the Mercantile and Dog House find a new home? Nobody knows. All we know is that the Lombardis are abandoning their project in Oak Cliff… for now.
We also know for sure that El Padrino was removed from Bishop Arts for nothing, basically. Poor Juan Contreras. He could still be operating his taco stand in Bishop Arts right now. Instead, his building remains empty. The lot around it is empty. And that space is going to waste.
P.S. Taverna (another Lombardi restaurant) is moving next to Toulouse on Knox Street at the end of June.