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Your Long-Awaited Calexico Update

It seems like ages since news broke that an outpost of Calexico, the beloved Cal-Mex restaurant that started as a cart on Wooster street and has since grown into a mini-empire, would be opening in the space last occupied by Blue Ribbon Sushi, on Fifth Avenue between First and Garfield.

Since then, I've made several attempts to contact the owners, the Vendley brothers, to no avail, and a tweet sent out last weekend was met with silence. Several calls to their various outposts (currently two carts and two Brooklyn storefronts, with one more, on the Lower East Side, on the way) also were met with silence, as well as emails. Until yesterday.

I gave the Red Hook location another shot-in-the-dark call, and after being placed on hold, I finally got some news:

"It'll be opening in March," I was told. "They had to push it back because they're working on getting the Lower East Side location open, but after that the one in Park Slope will be opening."

Obviously these timelines are never set in stone, but it's nice to finally be able to get confirmation that our long wait will eventually be rewarded!

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Reader Comments (21)

Now that's what I call reporting! Nice work.

I'm excited.

January 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJerry

The spring taco is always cause for jubilation.

January 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterFelton

Looks good to me-are the chain haters ok with it? Now that the beloved Culture is becoming a chain they must be having an existential crises!

January 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJbob

Where is Culture expanding to? Haven't seen the news about that. Happy for them, really nice people and great product. Happy about Calexico too, but would prefer a Dos Toros.

January 23, 2013 | Unregistered Commentertomas

Cultures opening a new place on W. 8th st in the Village

January 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJbob

Wonderful news. Now I can get my fix at work and at home!

January 23, 2013 | Unregistered Commentertomas

i stopped by the red hook locale about a week back & they told me end of january, so you're definitely correct in saying that the opening date's a moving target.

January 23, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterparowpyro

Nice follow up Dan! I walk by it daily and the missing note to the neighbors intrigued me. Thanks!

January 23, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterkimberly

Thank god, tacos. Now what this neighborhood needs (all of New York needs), is more tacos.

January 23, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterstew

@parowpyro You aren't trolling HPS for FIPS stories are you? How Dan consistently outperforms FIP'S army of contributors is beyond me. Maybe you could throw some of your superior resources his way and hire him as a consultant?

January 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJbob

2 Stores do not a chain make,,,,,,,,,,,,,lol. Target, Red Lobster, Barnes and Noble, CVS, Rite Aid, PinkBerry, etc., those are chains.

Looking forward to Calexico.

January 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterParkSlopePerson

Thanks for the update Dan. I checked the DOB website and it looks like they submitted renovation plans on 12/31/12, but they were rejected. Getting rejected on your first DOB submission is not unusual at all, so I expect that they will resubmit and get approval soon. End of March sounds good to me!

January 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterReal Parksloper

We'll see if they ever make this happen. I'd love to have a Calexico in the neighborhood, but this just doesn't seem like the right location or setup for them. Too big and the rent has to be too expensive and I'm sure that they have to do too much renovation inside. They need a smaller, more manageable storefront like Beygl or Jalapeno. This location just seems like a little bit of a setup for them. Not that I don't wish them all the best, but the delay just seems like second thoughts to me.

January 24, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterpresident resident


they've already signed a lease, have begun interior demo and have filed a permit and have "calexico" paper in the windows. do you really think they did all of that for show?

they will KILL IT in that location.

January 24, 2013 | Unregistered Commentertomas

president resident -
Apparently you are not familiar with Calexico's Greenpoint location. It is quite similar in terms of size and location (busy commericial street). That place is quite popular. They will be fine here.

January 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterReal Parksloper

"@parowpyro You aren't trolling HPS for FIPS stories are you? How Dan consistently outperforms FIP'S army of contributors is beyond me.

Because Dan's not spending half his bandwidth finding ways to put down parents on his site. That's why I don't spend a second on FIPS. They're afraid of what they're one day going to become.

Calexico's going to be just fine. It'll definitely reduce my need to trek out to Gueros for some quality tacos (speaking of places needing to expand....)

January 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrooklyn Brawler

I am not familiar with that other location, only the Union street one. Again, I hope it's a huge success. I'd like nothing more than to be proven wrong. Just seems too big too me, but what do I know?

January 28, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterpresident resident

Any update on this? It's not longer March...

April 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAdam

I guess this Calexico location is DOA. Too bad, I think it would have gone over huge in this neighborhood.

May 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHungry Man

i saw the signage going into the store about ten days ago. figured they would be putting it up in a day or two, but nothing yet. these guys need to get it together.

June 18, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterno-permits

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February 19, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterbahis

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