The wait is almost over for Taco Mama fans working and living in downtown Birmingham and on the Southside.
The newest Taco Mama fast-casual Mexican restaurant will open Tuesday, Sept. 5, in The Waites residential and retail development at the corner of Seventh Avenue South and Richard Arrington Jr. Boulevard near UAB.
It is the eighth Taco Mama location, and the fourth in the Birmingham metro area. A ninth location is planned for Nashville in early 2018.
“We are proud to be a part of The Waites development and the big things that are happening in downtown Birmingham,” Taco Mama founder and owner Will Haver said in a release to AL.com. “We know our festive atmosphere and fresh, diverse menu is going to be a hit with the large and vibrant academic, medical, financial and professional communities of downtown.”
The $16.5-million Waites development is located on the same site as the former Waite’s Fine Foods, a bakery and deli that was a Birmingham favorite for 65 years, from 1923 until it closed in 1988.
In addition to Taco Mama, The Waites has 45 apartments on three floors, as well as 16,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor. Other announced retail tenants include Club Pilates, Farm Burger, Smoothie King, Which Wich Superior Sandwiches, and Roll Up, a sushi restaurant. Taco Mama will be the first of the retail tenants to open at The Waites.
Hours for Taco Mama will be 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, Haver said.
Taco Mama opened its original location in Mountain Brook’s Crestline Village in 2011, and has since opened additional restaurants in Homewood and at the Summit, as well as in Tuscaloosa, Auburn and two locations in Huntsville.
The Waites location is Taco Mama’s first venture into Birmingham’s downtown/Southside area.
“We are excited about the medical and professional community at UAB and hoping to get some UAB students supporting us, too,” Haver told AL.com. “But the main thing is we want to be part of the growth of downtown Birmingham.”
Taco Mama is also planning to open its first out-of-state location in Nashville in the Village 21 mixed-used development in the Music City’s Hillsboro Village district, close to Vanderbilt and Belmont universities, Haver said.
“We are hoping to have that open the first of (next) year,” he said. “We are excited about being in Nashville, especially near Vandy and Belmont.”
Wilco Hospitality, Taco Mama’s parent company, also operates Otey’s Tavern in Mountain Brook.