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Nightclub Vet Designs New Downtown Taco Shop for 9-to-5 Crowd

Margaritas and tortilla soup are headed to Taqueria Local next month

Taqueria Local
Photo by Tierney Plumb / Eater DC
Tierney Plumb is the editor of Eater DC, covering all things food and drink around the nation's capital.

More details are emerging about downtown’s incoming all-day Mexican cafe Taqueria Local, which has some heavy hitters from D.C.’s clubbing industry at the helm.

The new fast-casual eatery, moving into the shuttered Eatsa space at 1627 K Street NW, is projected to open in March with a lineup of tacos, tostadas, burritos, salads, sides, soups, and desserts. The owner behind the new restaurant is nightlife guru Antonis Karagounis, who runs Echostage, Decades, Barcode, Ultrabar, Soundcheck, and L8.

Partners Arman Amirshahi and Karagounis have tapped their longtime chef Giovanni Orellana to run Taqueria’s kitchen. A native of El Salvador, Orellana has cooked locally at Ceviche, Lima, Pesce, Posto, and most recently, Barcode, where his weekly taco special was a top seller.

Future menu highlights at Taqueria include tacos with spicy Mexican sausage or roasted beets, and tostadas featuring mango-habanero shrimp. Also expect towering nachos, grilled Mexican street corn, and tortilla soup. Diners can wash it all down with aguas frescas, bottled Mexican sodas, flavored margaritas, beer, and wine.

The taco shop plans to give back a portion of breakfast, lunch, and dinner tabs, with 1 percent of yearly revenue going to early childhood education center CentroNía (where Orellana’s son went to school), along with other local initiatives.

“It feels amazing knowing that I will be able to give back to a community that has given me so much,” says Orellana.