Parklet partner Tacos El Charro closes

December 6, 2013
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Tacos El Charro, a Mexican restaurant at 349 Centre St. and a maintaining partner of the parklet at that address, has closed. It was sold this summer.

The new owners plan to re-open the space as “Old Havana” restaurant “soon,” Hyde/Jackson Square Main Streets Executive Director Gerald Robbins told the Gazette.

A parklet is a small, semi-permanent public space that resembles a deck, created from two parking spaces. JP’s version is made of wood and has long, curved benches. Each of the City’s three pilot parklets is maintained by partner businesses. In Hyde Square’s case, that is Sonia’s Bridal & Quinceañera and Tacos El Charro. Each parklet cost the city between $15,000 and $25,000 to create and install.

Old Havana’s owners have agreed to take on the role of parklet partner from Tacos El Charro, Robbins said, but Boston Transportation Department (BTD) spokesperson Tracey Ganiatsos said BTD has not yet spoken to the new owners.

“BTD looks forward to speaking with the owners of Old Havana restaurant, however, we will be reviewing our other options for neighborhood locations as well,” she said.

BTD, the city agency responsible for the parklets, said that Tacos El Charro indicated it would stay in business when it agreed to partner with the City.

“At the time that the parklet was being planned and when they signed the Parklet Partner agreement, no indication was given that Tacos El Charro would not be remaining at this location,” Ganiatsos said.

A parklet partner’s “responsibility is focused on daily maintenance including removal of any collected trash and keeping plants in good health,” she said. If that partner were no longer able or willing to maintain the parklet, the City can choose to move the parklet elsewhere, Ganiatsos said.

Tacos El Charro is a longtime popular restaurant in Hyde Square. It was honored by the City Council as part of at-large City Councilor Felix Arroyo’s Latino Heritage Month Celebration last year. But it also had previous financial problems, including an eight-month closure in 2011.