One of 2016's more promising newcomers has suddenly closed. Stoked Tacos & Tequila ended its run in Midtown after only six months in business.
Chef-owner Adam Puskorius tells CultureMap that the closure of neighboring nightclub Red Door gave the landlord the opportunity to renovate the entire space, and it made sense for the business to close to facilitate those changes.
"We were going to (close) January 1. With all the closing days during holidays we felt it was better to go ahead and close now," Puskorius writes in a text. "We thank everyone for the support and love."
Puskorius adds that he's reunited with fellow Eddie V's alums Keith House and James Robert at acclaimed Southern restaurant Fixe in Austin. He'll be serving as executive chef while the restaurant embarks on a period of growth.
"We have plans to open more Fixes across Texas and have signed a lease for a second location in Fort Worth (with) plans to do a couple more behind it," Puskorius writes.
Stoked certainly had promise when it opened. Modeled after well-known Chicago restaurant Big Star, Puskorius's commitment to using locally raised meats and locally grown vegetables, as well as making his own tortillas, had the potential to elevate what diners could expect from a taco without feeling pretentious. Cocktails by popular bartender Chris Frankel, who ultimately departed from Stoked's upstairs cocktail lounge Spare Key, further enhanced its appeal.
Maybe the remodel is for the best. After being home to four different concepts since 2011 — El Patio, Xuco Xicana, Cook & Collins, and Stoked — the space has certainly earned the "cursed" label. Perhaps a new look will allow a new operator to bring in a concept that works for Midtown.