The revolving door of Tex-Mex eateries: Boca is out; Local Taco is in

There’s a new taco in town … again.

The Local Taco, a Nashville-based brand, has bought out Boca on Lexington Avenue. Boca has closed permanently after two years in business, but the owner of The Local Taco, John Ko, says Asheville can expect his restaurant to open its doors this spring, probably in March or April.

Asheville’s Local Taco will have four sibling restaurants, two in Nashville, one in Lexington, Ky., and one in Greenville, S.C. “We try to do everything with local produce and local farmers and try to do some creative things with our tacos,” Ko says. “I just feel like the demographic of the city and everything about Asheville kind of fits our model.” He adds that he hopes to relocate his residence here soon.

Ko says he’s experienced some online backlash since he announced his plans for an Asheville location. “A lot of people thought we're a big chain restaurant coming into town,” he says. “We're anything but. We're independently owned. We're not a big corporation. We just happen to be in a couple of markets.”

Every Local Taco has a different look and feel, Ko explains, but the food focus is similar at each one. Menus feature à la carte tacos and enchiladas. Salads come in meal-sized portions, and sides come with creative touches, such as fried, green chili mac-and-cheese and Cuban corn on the cob. Tacos cost less than $3 a pop, and lunch specials and salads cost less than $10. The Local Taco should feel laid-back and affordable, Ko says.

The Boca building is in good shape and won’t require too many renovations, Ko says, although he hopes to add a roof to the courtyard for wintertime dining. He says the outdoor space around the restaurant attracted him to the building, especially the patio. “Our concept revolves around being outside, sitting outside, eating tacos and margaritas in the sun,” he says.

Accordingly, The Local Taco will include a full bar.

The Local Taco will be located at 68 N. Lexington Ave. For more information, visit thelocaltaco.com or check out the Facebook page for The Local Taco Asheville.

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