El Padrino, Kicked Out of Bishop Arts, Finds New Home in Southeast Dallas

El Padrino in its old Bishop Arts location (photo by Carol Shih)
El Padrino in its old Bishop Arts location (photo by Carol Shih)

I’ve been rooting for the little El Padrino taco stand in Bishop Arts since last November, ever since we found out the Lombardi group’s plans to takeover/(maybe) bulldoze the iconic red-and-white building that housed those famously nice taco ladies.

For the last couple months, Juan Contreras, managing parter of El Padrino, has been trying his hardest to stay in Bishop Arts. “We hope to stay in the Bishop Arts; we were one of the original establishments before Bishop Arts became what it is now, and we’d like to be part of it as long as we can,” he said back in October 2012. Unfortunately, it looks like those plans have fallen through. El Padrino #2 is moving to southeast Dallas, and it’ll open on May 3.

Contreras wrote this email about the news. The headline is very bittersweet. Props to Bishop Arts for its blossoming area, but let’s not forget the little guys who helped make it what it is, shall we?


El Padrino Taqueria a casualty to the Bishop Arts District’s success
DALLAS, TX – El Padrino Taqueria, affectionately known as El Padrino (Mexican Godfather), a popular Mexican food stand in the Bishop Arts District since the 1990’s has lost their lease and has found a new home.  El Padrino was housed in an old original Jack in the Box shaped fast food stand located on 330 W. Davis St., and provided great Mexican fast food to N. Oak Cliff’s diverse clientele.

El Padrino lost their lease to Sarah Lombardi in May. “We didn’t see this coming, but we were grateful that Ms. Lombardi let us operate through November. Which allowed us some time to look for a new location and for our employees to find jobs nearby.” says Juan Contreras Jr. El Padrino hoped to move to a new location in the Bishop Arts District or somewhere nearby, “Unfortunately it was harder than we thought. Our broker Charlie Perdue, from Perdue Equities worked with us to find us a home nearby, however, there were just no options to fit our needs.” says Juan C. Contreras Jr., Managing Partner.

The Contreras say that they decided to move to southeastern Dallas on 1215 S Buckner Blvd not only because they got a good deal in their new location but also because they also wanted to expand their locations: one in Oak Cliff and the other in Pleasant Grove. “One of our friends here in the community approached us with a deal we could not pass and well we decided to give it a try.” says Juan Contreras Jr.

The new Padrino’s expects to open May 3rd, 2013 serving the same type of original Mexican food items and more.

“We had a great run in the Bishop Arts District, and were surrounded by inspiring friends in the community and we expect to continue our success in our new location.” says Juan Contreras Jr.


El Padrino also has the original location located at 408 W. Jefferson Boulevard, which remains open.


Thank you,

Juan Contreras
El Padrino; Managing Partner
Website: elpadrinomexicangrill.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/CafeteriayLoncheriaElPadrino
Twitter: ElPadrinoTejas


  • twinwillow

    Once again, greed and ego hurt the little guy!

    • Restauranty

      No, pal, it’s all about Real Estate. Always is in Dallas.

  • Everlasting Phelps

    Going to compete around the corner with Mr. Taco, eh? Game on.

  • Pingback: El Padrino Finds New Home in Pleasant Grove | Oak Cliff People()

  • critic

    Another Lombardi concept will open with fanfare and cheek kissing at the opening then subsequently receive ONE star for food and service. Another slow closing like dozens of other Lombardi Concepts. This investor driven restaurant concept is not going to be the success of sole proprioter/chef owner driven restaurants that have been the the success of the Bishops Arts District. Just watch !

    • Restauranty

      That’s the truest thing I’ve heard all day. I still remember my experience at Lombardi’s Pesca in West Village. Barf.

  • Oly


  • twinwillow

    Got another barf bag? I’ll join you.

  • twinwillow

    They kinda go hand in hand. Or, hand in your pocket.

  • Tomas

    Two minds about ths.

    1. While Il Padrino has been at the location for a long time, the truth is that is simply is not very good. I would love it if that stand sold good quality or at least interesting food. I tried several times, each time hoping very much to like it and enjoy it as balance to the now gentrified Bishop Arts dining scene, but it never worked. If El Si Hay had that space, the line would never end.

    2. I agree that another Lombardi restaurant that is all about concept and not about the personal, chef driven food that drives the Oak Cliff high end dining scene is unlikely to be successful.

  • dutch

    I’m confused by this thread. you do understand how real estate works, right? Property owners, by your suggestion, should just give space away out of the goodness of their hearts? what happens when the roof leaks, or worse, someone gets hurt on the property and sues? we should just pay that out of pocket because you like the taco stand that was there?

    Mr. Contreras could have increased the cost of his tacos to cover higher rents. that’s why oysters at Spoon are $33 a doz and $15 a dozen at 20-Feet.