Basalt’s popular Taqueria el Nopal restaurant will close tonight, at least for the short term.
Ismael Argueta, co-owner with his wife, Elida, said Friday he has been unable thus far to find an affordable alternative site in Basalt. He said he would continue to search for a new place in Basalt.
Crowds have packed the Basalt restaurant for lunch and dinner this week as diners want to get their fix before the closing. Argueta said he appreciates the support and wants customers to know he and his wife intend to remain part of Basalt. If that doesn’t happen, he urged diners to visit their Glenwood Springs restaurant of the same name.
Taqueria el Nopal opened in Basalt 20 years ago. The town government owns the building where it is located and notified the Arguetas years ago that the site would be sold eventually. The town sold the site to the Rocky Mountain Institute, which plans to build an office and Innovation Center there. Groundbreaking is scheduled later this year.
The town of Basalt is helping the Arguetas search for a new location. The parties are meeting next week, Argueta said. Town Manager Mike Scanlon said as much as $50,000 is available to help the restaurant locate within Basalt.
The restaurant’s departure isn’t the only change coming to downtown Basalt. Clark’s Market will close by the end of June, according to CEO Tom Clark. The supermarket is liquidating its merchandise already.
Basalt Pharmacy is informing customers that it will operate in its location within Clark’s Market through June and then open in a new location, which is yet to be determined.