Last week came word that Taqueria Nacional is moving from its Capitol Hill perch behind Johnny's Half Shell to the U Street area. While owner John Fulchino couldn't comment at the time, now he confirms the move and provides the all-important details.
First of all, yes, the taqueria is moving into the old Post Office space on T Street, with the forthcoming BakeHouse as a neighbor. Fulchino says he and co-owner Ann Cashion had been eying this spot for about a year now. It's 2,600 square feet, and the plans are for seating both inside and outside. They're mostly keeping the menu the same, but in addition to the aguas frescas, there will be draft beer and frozen margaritas. Let's repeat that: Draft beer and frozen margaritas.
As for when this all goes down, Fulchino points out that the landlord is still working on the building, so he doesn't anticipate opening on T Street until late fall of this year. In the meantime, it's likely the taqueria will continue operating on the Hill at least through the summer — and it's possible they'll occasionally do taqueria-related things at Johnny's Half Shell to appease its loyal neighborhood following.
And, yes, Fulchino is aware that some of these followers will be upset to lose the taqueria, telling Eater, "I took a beating in the press and I took a beating personally when I left Dupont Circle, thinking I was selling out to some corporate devil moving over to Capitol Hill. Now that I'm taking the taqueria here, I feel like I can't please anybody." That said, Fulchino adds that he's grateful for all the love his little taqueria has gotten since it opened in 2006.
So what will become of the old takeout space? Well, Fulchino says he and Cashion are planning to launch a takeout version of Johnny's Half Shell in the space, possibly as soon as late summer or early fall. That's all still in development, but will keep you posted as all this progresses. As for now, this is the time to fill up on tacos before the big move.
[Photo: Kevin L/Yelp]