Deep Ellum News
Dallas vegan restaurant in Deep Ellum co-owned by Oliver Peck will close
There's a restaurant closing that represents tragic news for Dallas vegans and the Deep Ellum community: Tiki Loco, a vegan restaurant that's been open in Deep Ellum for four years, will close in early 2023.
Founder Audra Cabral confirmed that the restaurant would be closing, with its final day on January 3.
"We're sad to close after serving the vegan community for more than four years," Cabral says. "But trying to maintain the business has been a challenge, between the pandemic, declining foot traffic, and increasing costs."
Their January 3 closure date is a gesture to support their staff through the holidays.
Their new hours will be 12 pm to 10 pm (they previously opened at 10 am), although Cabral says they anticipate some fluctuating hours, depending on staffing and inventory.
"Truth be told, the last year and a half we've ridden this rollercoaster of extremes like so many have, and ultimately it has financially drained us," she says.
Tiki Loco opened in 2018 with a focus on vegan and healthy food, although it earned just as much attention for its celebrity ties, including being co-owned by tattoo artists Dean Williams and Oliver Peck, owners of Elm Street Tattoo shop also in Deep Ellum. People love celebrities. (See headline above.)
The restaurant served both vegan and GF food as well as local coffee from White Rock Coffee. The menu featured tacos, nachos, smoothies, juice, grab-and-go items, and even cocktails, with happy hour deals.
Its combination of fresh food, cheerful atmosphere, and friendly hipster staff was so winning that the restaurant earned a nomination for Best Neighborhood Restaurant in CultureMap's annual Tastemaker Awards in 2022.
They were one of four restaurants in Dallas to use Tindle, a juicy, plant-based chicken and the first chicken made from plants created specifically by chefs and for chefs.
And their presence definitely helped elevate Dallas' profile as a vegan-friendly city in 2019, when for the first time Dallas made the list of Top 10 Vegan Cities in the U.S.
At a time when Deep Ellum has become deluged with restaurants, many of which include chains and concepts from out of town, Tiki Loco stood as a sweet reminder of the funky Deep Ellum vibe that first attracted the newcomers.
Deep Ellum's central location would seem to make it a good place for a vegan restaurant, but Dallas' vegan community is geographically scattered and hasn't shown a pattern of supporting local vegan businesses such as Tiki Loco; Belse, the vegan restaurant in downtown Dallas; and Lucky Mouth Grocery, the vegan grocery in Oak Cliff. They'd rather order pizza from a suburban location of the Mellow Mushroom. People, you get what you deserve.