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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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/.