One of Portland’s pivotal Tex-Mex taquerias is closing its NE Alberta shop. Stella Taco, known for its Austin-style breakfast tacos and inexpensive margaritas, will close its original location on Labor Day, ending things with a grand send-off and party.
“Our personal life has changed, we just had a baby, we have two restaurants and a winery in Sellwood, and we needed to consolidate our life a bit,” says co-owner Becky Atkins. When the time came to renew the Alberta location’s lease, the owners decided to close the restaurant. “When the lease comes up, that’s the time to really make a decision. With the sales not as strong as they need to be compared to Southeast, it’s just not worth it.”
The team told staff about the closure a month ago, and most of the staff agreed to stay on until the last day, September 2. At 7 p.m. that day, the restaurant will throw a going away party, complete with beer and free food as they clean out the kitchen. “We’re going to open our doors to past customers and people in the neighborhood as a sendoff,” Atkins says. “It really has been a positive experience. It wasn’t a gun-to-the-head kind of decision; we wanted to close on our terms.” After the northern restaurant closes, the Stella Taco team will focus on tweaking the remaining restaurant’s menu, bringing back its brisket tacos and leaning more heavily on its Austin roots.
Matt Fields, Becky and Ian Atkins opened the original Stella Taco in the summer of 2014, with barbacoa tacos, crispy pork chicharrones, and frozen margaritas. After making a significant splash in its first few years, the Atkins opened a second location two years later on SE Division. The couple was ahead of Portland’s breakfast taco craze, loading flour tortillas with eggs and chorizo. Once it closes, however, Alberta will not be a taco dead-zone: El Nutri Taco, La Bonita, and La Sirenita remain steps away.
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We want you to hear from us first ❤️ Stella Taco Alberta Street will be pouring its final margarita on Labor Day, Monday, September 2nd. We will be savoring every single day of the next two weeks and would love to see your faces one last time for queso and fried avocado You are family. We love and thank you for making Stella ‘home’ for the past five years. Don’t be sad, just come visit us on Division to get your Stella fix
• Stella Taco [Official]
• Stella Taco [Instagram]
• Previous Stella Taco coverage [EPDX]
• Inside Alberta’s Texan-Inspired Stella Taco [Portland Monthly]
• Stella Taco Opens With Frozen ‘Ritas and Austin-Style Tacos on Division [EPDX]