As a building, Hart's Corner has withstood the test of time, squatting at the corner of South Sheridan Boulevard and West Mississippi Avenue for nearly a century. Businesses have come and gone, but for most of its life, the old roadhouse has housed a series of divey bars and restaurants. Last spring, a new tenant, Mariscos El Picudo, moved in, serving Mexican seafood and micheladas.
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But now El Picudo has gone the way of the many establishments that came before it. The restaurant is closed, and a "coming soon" banner hangs on the side of the building — though it doesn't specify exactly what is coming. For those in need of a fix of bold, coastal flavors and Clamato-based drinks brimming with shrimp, oysters, beef jerky and tamarind, nearby eateries El Coco Pirata and Mariscos El Licenciado offer a similar experience.
The Hart family, first Leo and then his brother Tommy, operated Hart's Corner as a service station and restaurant from 1924 to 1978. Since then, the place has had several other owners — but this most recent incarnation marked the first time that a different name graced the heart-shaped sign above the building.