Taco Luchador, a taco and sandwich restaurant concept that's gained a following on Baxter Avenue these last few years, is opening in St. Matthews on Thursday.
The new location is at 112 Meridian Ave. in space that formerly housed Meridian Cafe. With a big red luchador — a type of wrestler — on the front of the building, it's a bit hard to miss. It will offer lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. It sells 10 types of tacos for around $3 to $4 each. You can view the full menu here.
Taco Luchador is owned by OLE Restaurant Group, a burgeoning local restaurant empire that also owns Mussel & Burger Bar, Artisano Tapas y Mas and Red Barn Kitchen.
OLE partner Fernando Martinez told me that opening a restaurant in St. Matthews was a bit of a homecoming for him because its where he opened his first restaurant, Havana Rumba. He feels like the neighborhood is a good fit for the concept because this part of St. Matthews has a lot of foot traffic, just like on Baxter.
It's taken a lot of work, he said. A lot of new equipment had to be installed in order for the space to be brought up to code. It also has a whole new look, with new furniture and fresh, bright paint. He declined disclose how much was invested in the new location.
You can check out the attached slideshow for a look at the interior as well as some of the dishes. The restaurant has seating for about 96 people outside and 36 people inside — making it much larger than the Baxter Avenue one. He's hired a staff of about 15 workers.
Martinez and OLE have opened a string of new restaurants during the last few years. He's been known to tell reporters that whatever restaurant he's opening is his last one.
Not so this time.
While he's likely done opening full-service restaurants, he said there are likely two more Taco Luchador locations coming — likely in downtown or the Jeffersontown area.
David A. Mann covers these beats: Restaurants, beverage industry, manufacturing, distribution/logistics, unions.