Tacos Chukis ready to go big in Central District at 23rd and Union

Broadway-born Tacos Chukis has a new headquarters but the neighbors around 23rd and Union are probably more interested in the grilled pineapple and adobada.

The latest expansion of the small Seattle chain including its new central kitchen is set to open Saturday in the Central District.

“This will be our central base and supply our other restaurants,” owner Beto Salmeron tells CHS about the biggest Tacos Chukis yet.


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Thanks to a CHS reader for the sneak peek photo

CHS started the year breaking the news on the planned Chukis project joining 23rd and Union inside The Central mixed-use apartment building, the first of a wave of development around 23rd and Union from Lake Union Partners. The apartment building is also home to e-bike dealership Electric Lady and coffee shop + hair salon Squirrel Chops. Across the street on the northwest corner of the intersection, Lake Union Partners is also opening The Central, a second mixed-use project anchored by a New Seasons grocery market expected to open — despite opposition from labor and some community groups — in 2019. Meanwhile, Lake Union Partners is developing a third project at 23rd and Union where Midtown Center is expected to be demolished early next year to make way for a 429-unit mixed-use project anchored by a large drugstore.

For Tacos Chukis, its new restaurant and central kitchen follows a slow, steady expansion from its Capitol Hill roots. In 2013, CHS wrote about its first expansion of its original home inside the Broadway Alley. By 2016, Salmeron joined the rush to feed Amazonians in South Lake Union. Tacos Chukis Beacon Hill opened last December and is only a few minutes away from the Broadway original via light rail.

UPDATE: The new Chukis neighborhood is already blessed with strong taco action. Taqueria Sotelo has been a longtime presence just up E Union while El Costeño does steady business with a permanent position in the Uncle Ike’s parking lot.

The tacos are still affordable but Tacos Chukis has also stepped up its game. The new restaurant is designed by the architects at Graham Baba and features around 50 seats and a commissary kitchen to help the growing Tacos Chukis centralize more of its operations. Salmeron told us earlier this year the Central District space is larger than he would have had normally taken on but the ongoing growth of Tacos Chukis means the small chain could use a better headquarter kitchen facility.

As with most projects in the late stages of this wave of Seattle boom times, the buildout took longer than expected thanks to permitting and contractor demand. Salmeron said, despite the growth, opening a new Tacos Chukis is pretty much the same as it ever was — lots of feel with just enough planning to get started. “Whenever we’re ready, we just up and go and see how it runs and just take off from there,” Salmeron said.

Tacos Chukis at The Central is slated to open this weekend at 2203 E Union. Hours are expected to be the same as the other locations 11 AM to 10 PM every day. You can learn more at facebook.com/TacosChukis/.

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29 thoughts on “Tacos Chukis ready to go big in Central District at 23rd and Union

    • It is easier to stop a planned development than try to shut down one that is already opened. Also, zero consistency from the union folks. They complained about New Seasons at Capitol Hill Station, but aren’t saying a peep now that a different non-union grocery is opening. Only certain stores get targeted, and others don’t and there doesn’t appear to be any reason why.

      • Less history of labor violations than New Seasons? They have a history of paying their workers well with decent benefits and didn’t have a reputation of union suppression (until the recent allegations under Amazon ownership).

        We’ll see how long that lasts after now Amazon has owned them for awhile.

      • Love what 23rd & Union is turning into and am beyond excited to have another quality taco shop and a quality grocer come to the neighborhood. Definitely will be hitting up TC and New Seasons often!

    • I still miss Medi Mix but I’ll eat Taco Chukis. New Seasons groceries were tested and quoted as twice the prices as Safeway besides having shady employee – business practices.

      • Twice the price? Quoted where? That sounds awfully unlikely.
        BTW, Med Mix has been open again for awhile on Jackson, just west of 23rd.

      • JenMoon – I’ll believe this if you can cite a source. I’ve shopped at both and while New Season is more expensive, it is not double. This is anecdotal – so I’d believe real data. Lots of places are more expensive than Safeway, including PCC and the Central Co-op.

      • Concur with everyone else. I’ve got no love for New Seasons and their prices are definitely higher than Safeway, despite similar quality, but I haven’t seen twice as high.

      • I amazed at how the grocery union has spun this story about New Seasons. When you peel back the layers, I think this is all about the union’s fear of losing political power so they trash a company who is not conformist to their rules by making up stories about anti LGBTQ activities, mistreatment of employees, etc. I really think its that simple. Its all bullshit. New Seasons seems kind of pathetic in that they don’t stand up for themselves. Nice Pacific Northwest people who are okay getting the shit kicked out of them and they stand there and take it. Stupid. Oh well. I’m excited for the store when it opens.

      • Oh! Thanks for the tip on Med Mix, Jim!

        I agree that it’s possible what I read picked certain products to make sure they were double the price. I still am not thrilled about their other practices and don’t care about Safeway’s simply because New Seasons met with Ballard and the Central District groups and advertised themselves as this progressive grocery that would make sure to hire within the neighborhood, had no problem with union organizing, and no, that whole thing with Murdock? Our money is totally not mixed.

        And then it turned out, they lied. They’ve fired union organizers at their Oregon stores and I think recently in Ballard. And Murdock does use New Seasons money to focus on Anti-LGBQT measures as well as anti-choice “clinics”. Meh.

  1. I frequently visit the Capitol Hill location Love it…

    How about reinstating phone orders or at least start online ordering those of us that like to have our Chukis to go?

    Many times I am too hungry and I am unable to wait in line for 30 minutes or more….

    I understand they stopped taking phone orders because chukis wold lose money when someone wouldn’t come to pick up or ordered from the wrong location..

    Online ordering where customer pays upfront would eliminate that issue. – and no, I dont want to use a delivery service ..they cost too much

  2. FYI, to those that can’t have dairy, they put mayo in their guacamole. (Thankful for being informed by one of their employees, but astounded/confused still about the practice. Can’t help but think they do it to cut costs without most people noticing. )

      • They don’t charge twice what Safeway does for every item but I’m betting that’s how they wrote the article – went to Safeway and found the cheapest it had been that month and went to New Seasons and found the most spendy.

        With all of the ones that are less shady (though I think someone said WF was anti-union), we went with New Seasons. Greatttttt.
        PCC, Whole Foods, Central Co-op, Metropolitan Market, Uwajimaya.

  3. Here is the “original” article referencing all the current issues:

    http://newseasonstories.com/madrona-news-letter-to-the-editor/

    or in point/counterpoint form (pg 10 of the pdf):

    https://madronaseattle.files.wordpress.com/2018/06/madrona-news-june-2018.pdf

    “In an interview with ARCADE magazine last year, Lake Union Partners’ Patrick Foley more or less admitted that New Seasons Markets is not what the community wanted: “With our East Union project, the community was worried we were going to put in a high-end grocery store that the average citizen cannot afford. That’s challenging for us because we… can’t be the ones setting the store’s prices.” A recent price comparison revealed that New Seasons Market is up to twice as expensive as Safeway for many products.”

    That’s a little more vague than I remember so great but there is nothing listed for where the info is from. Great mystery.

    • Jen, you just seem to be trolling at this point… Your “source” is literally a letter to the editor published in a neighborhood periodical.

      Look we get it from the comments above, you just don’t like New Seasons and will never shop there but for the love of God, do you really need to resort to this “some people said”, “great mystery”, “the whole thing with (insert scary person)” rhetoric… We already get enough of it from Trump and Sawant

      • It’s possible that you actually don’t know the definition of trolling so I will give you the benefit of the doubt. You’ll note that I put the source of the information in quotation marks, indicating that I too knew that this was not a source. I assumed by posting it, those people in the comments who requested a source could see where the original information was coming from, and would have a better understanding of which facts are blurry and why in case anyone else repeats them.

        I made sure to post the section that I had used that was unsupported and made a comment about that stat.

        I responded to a request with more accurate information and wasn’t negative and didn’t call anyone
        names. Not a troll.

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