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Tamale House No. 3 to Close for Good

Charity food giveaway benefiting employees planned for Tuesday

By Chase Hoffberger, 10:09AM, Mon. May. 5

Last week’s supposition has become this week’s reality. Early Monday morning, a daughter of recently deceased Tamale House No. 3 owner Robert Vasquez confirmed via Facebook that the taco shop plans to close its doors for good.


Tamale House owner Robert Vasquez in 2012
photo by John Anderson

The news comes a week after the Airport Boulevard institution first shuttered its doors on the occasion of Vasquez’s passing. The 72-year-old, who opened the shop in his mother Carmen’s Downtown Tamale House image, served uncommonly cheap tacos to the people of Northeast Austin for 36 years. Monday morning, his children announced that they won’t attempt to renew it, citing a respect for their father’s “baby” and a mutual interest in other career paths.

“That’s how I want to remember it,” one wrote. “It will never be my baby. I will be forever grateful to what his baby did for me, my daughter, and my siblings.”

The family also expressed an extreme sense of gratitude toward “all the women who worked in that hot kitchen six days a week so my father could put food on our table and money in our pockets.”

“Without those girls, we wouldn’t have had anything,” the message continued. “My father loved his employees and they loved him.”

A charity food giveaway is being readied at the restaurant (5003 Airport) for tomorrow and potentially Wednesday, if there’s any food left, with $5 donations going toward the women who worked Vasquez’s kitchen in exchange for a liquidating lot of tacos.

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