From Burgers to Tacos

Dallas taco shop breathes new life into defunct Oak Lawn burger joint

Dallas taco shop breathes new life into defunct Oak Lawn burger joint

R Taco
Tacos are stepping up as Dallas' new ruling cuisine. R Taco

In a symbolic changing of the guard, a plot of hallowed ground on the Dallas restaurant front will switch from one hot millennial cuisine to another, from burgers to tacos.

The space at 3604 Oak Lawn Ave. that was once and forever home to Snookie's Bar & Grill will become a new branch of R Taco, formerly known as Rusty Taco. R Taco is a fast-casual concept specializing in street-style tacos, all about $3 each.

Snookie's closed in May, after 26 years. According to an R Taco staffer, the new branch is tentatively slated to open in December.

With the just-announced opening date of Austin's Tacodeli at Sylvan Thirty, tacos are looking more and more like Dallas' ruling cuisine. Goodbye burgers.

R Taco is the new name for Rusty Taco, named for Rusty Fenton, who founded the chain in 2010. Fenton died of cancer in 2013, and the chain was bought out by Buffalo Wild Wings in 2014. There are currently nine total locations; three company-owned and six franchised in three markets – Dallas, Denver, and Minneapolis/St. Paul.

In September 2015, a decision was made to change the name.

"Shortening the name to 'R Taco' still provides a link to co-founder Rusty Fenton's legacy, while the phonetic play on 'R' sounding like 'our' is friendly and welcoming, like the spirit of the brand," said co-founder Steve Dunn in a statement.

Friendly and welcoming to diners, maybe, but not so friendly and welcoming if you're trying to google it. But according to Rusty's widow Denise Fenton, the new name "will resonate more easily for those who didn’t know Rusty."