Upscale taco chain Velvet Taco is going for round two in Dallas with a second in-city location opening at 4622 Greenville Ave., in a former Pollo Tropical, which closed in October 2016.
This will be the sixth location of Velvet Taco; the original opened on Henderson Avenue, not exactly far from SMU, in 2011. There are also branches in Fort Worth, Houston, Chicago, and Austin, which opened in March 2017.
Velvet Taco was founded by the owners of Twin Peaks with the idea that tacos don't have to be associated with Tex-Mex cuisine and can be made with the same care and premium quality ingredients as fine dining.
The chain's wide selection of tacos explores multi-regional and multi-cultural boundaries, such as Indian-style tikka chicken, Mediterranean vegetarian falafel, Japanese ahi poke, and Cuban pork. There's brisket and flank steak and they do a fabulous "Nashville-style" hot tofu.
Also in March, the company hired Clay Dover to fill the newly created position of president; Dover previously worked at Pei Wei Asian Diner and Raising Cane's.
The opening makes this patch of Greenville Avenue a little taco crazy and represents a battle for the hearts and minds of SMU students. There is already the original location of Rusty Taco, just one block up Greenville Avenue; and Torchy's Tacos, which has a location around the corner on SMU Boulevard.
To sum up: There is no shortage in the area of well-made gringo tacos.
Dover says that the Velvet Taco will open in late November with features that are entirely new.
"The biggest thing is that the location will have a pick-up window, which means you can pick up your order without leaving your car," he says. "That feature was something that came with the location."
They'll also do the "back door" rotisserie chicken initiated in 2012, wherein you go to the proverbial back door and get a rotisserie chicken with tortillas and elote-style corn for $20, with a $10 deal on Monday nights.
And as befits the target audience, they'll be open late — until 2 am on school nights, and 5 am on weekends.