Last March, we reported that El Tepehuan would be moving from its original location at 3457 South Broadway, where the Corral family opened it in 1978, to a new space just a few doors south. The move hasn't happened yet — and now the lease is up, forcing the Englewood Mexican restaurant to close its doors before the new space is ready. But owner J. Miguel Corral, the son of the original owners, has a plan to keep food coming for regular customers: The restaurant will close on November 23, but after that a food truck will be parked outside to serve all the menu favorites until the new location opens next spring.
The food truck, like the upcoming new restaurant, will be named El Tep instead of El Tepehuan. But it will still be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. (and later on weekends), serving huevos rancheros, handheld and smothered burritos and a short list of other customer picks pared down from the in-house menu. Corral has also teamed with the Brew on Broadway — or the BoB, as regulars call it — so that El Tep customers can enjoy their meals inside the craft brewery and coffeehouse.
Corral says he came up with the food truck idea because he didn't want to see customers — or employees — left out on the street. "I wanted to save people's jobs," he explains. "We value our customers, but we also really value our employees."
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The owner has applied for food truck permits in both Englewood and Denver so that he can introduce El Tep to the downtown crowd on the weekends. He also has a pending application for a cart on the 16th Street Mall.
Delays have been mostly contractual in nature, according to Corral, and have not been due to the city's administrative processes. "The city of Englewood is extremely supportive," he adds.
Look for the El Tep food truck on South Broadway between the original restaurant and the BoB starting at the end of November.