If you like the tacos at Casita Taqueria , prepare to go without for a while. The beloved St. Petersburg staple closes its Fourth Street location Saturday, January 11, in preparation for reopening later this year in the Grand Central District.
Construction on the new location at 2663 Central Ave. had been held up till now by permit delays, said Don Arvin, co-owner with his wife, Gwen.
"The city has really put us through the ringer," Arvin said. "I just got our permit today. We applied almost three months ago. I've tried to bend everyone's ear that I could."
Arvin had hoped to start sooner, minimizing the restaurant's closure time.
"We're going to be closed for a while without any income," Arvin said. "That means all 16 employees have no income during that time, too. I really hope for everyone's sake that Rick Kriseman does focus on changing things to focus on small business. I've got a couple buddies going through the same thing."
The relocation follows several others on the 2700 block of Fourth Street, after the properties' landlord was bought out by Trader Joe's. Ringside Cafe has already reopened inside the old Club Detroit at 16 Second St. S. Arvin hopes construction for the new Casita (a rehab of a former Texaco station) will take 30-45 days, but says "it could be more like 60."
On Saturday, their last day on Fourth Street, the Arvins are selling $2.50 tacos and beers all day long, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.