More tacos downtown

Shuttered downtown Houston cocktail bar will soon serve up tacos and $5 cheeseburgers

Shuttered downtown Houston cocktail bar serves up tacos, cheeseburgers

Moving Sidewalk interior
Moving Sidewalk will soon become a new restaurant.  Photo by Alexander Gregg, courtesy of Moving Sidewalk

Veteran Houston bar owner Brad Moore has partnered with Cantina Barba owners Manuel De Leon and Steven O'Sullivan to convert the former Moving Sidewalk space at 306 Main Street into a new concept devoted to tacos, frozen drinks, and $5 cheeseburgers. The still unnamed bar and restaurant — expect the word “Barba” to be included — will open in early December.

“[Moving Sidewalk] had run its course and then some,” Moore tells CultureMap. It was becoming a pain. Not trying to candy coat it too much.”

A mutual friend suggested O’Sullivan and De Leon approach Moore about taking over operations at the space. It’s even a reunion of sorts; prior to opening the Cantina Barba brick and mortar in the Heights, the duo served tacos from the kitchen of Moore’s popular Museum District bar Grand Prize.

The menu will be similar to what Cantina Barba offers: tacos with a variety of fillings (barbacoa, smoked pork, etc.); sides like chips with guacamole or queso; and, most importantly for people who have been drinking at the bars on Main Street, a classic, no-frills cheeseburger that only costs $5. Frozen drinks, agave cocktails, and beer will also be available. Exact operating hours are still being determined, but Moore expects it to be open late, especially on weekends.

Essentially, the plan is to provide the Main Street bar crowd with an intimate space they can grab a bite to eat and a drink in a casual setting that’s more intimate than the food halls popping up in the area. It will also be something of a competitor to La Calle Tacos and its companion cantina, which have been operating a couple of blocks away for the last two years.

“It'll be something fresh down there, because it's not a town with a bunch of downtown little spots that everyone goes to late night,” Moore says. “It might fill a need — or be a place people didn't know they needed until it arrives.”

Prior to becoming Moving Sidewalk, the space served food as the Japanese izakaya and ramen shop Goro & Gun. Noodles may not have been the right fit, but, given Cantina Barba’s success in the Heights, tacos and cheeseburgers certainly seem like the right idea at the right time.