Sunday, January 13, 2013

Los Angeles: Henry's Tacos serves it final meal after 50+ years in business

Many who have visited Los Angeles CA have had food from Henry's Tacos
It also has been seen in the background of many TV shows including Adam-12 & the Rockford Files.


Janis Hood got her start at Henry's Tacos when she was 10.
Her mother allowed her to fasten caps on the hot sauce and serve RC Cola to customers.
Through 51 years, the family business served ground beef tacos and burritos to customers. But on Saturday, the Studio City neighborhood treasure — a favorite of actor Elijah Wood and comedian George Lopez — closed its doors.
The shutting of Henry's Tacos, named for Hood's grandfather, Henry Comstock, came after a yearlong saga with the landlord that Hood said began when she applied for a historic designation. She said the application sparked conflict, and the landlord refused to renew her lease.
"It's a very emotional day for me," Hood said Saturday.
In recent weeks, news of the closure prompted thousands of fans to sign an online petition to save the restaurant and inspired a Twitter hashtag (#SaveHenrysTacos).
At one point, a financial consultant and a TV writer were in talks to purchase the restaurant to keep it open. "It all just took us back to our childhood," said Matt Pyken, a Studio City TV writer who grew up eating at the stand, explaining why he sought to buy it with his former middle-school buddy. "We wanted it to be the same place."
But in the end, Hood decided to work with longtime employee Omar Vega, who wants to relocate the shop but keep the name. Hood said she plans to eventually sell the business to Vega. A preservation group has offered to store the stand's signage, she said.
On Saturday, customers formed a line down the sidewalk for a last meal, and Hood said the stand would keep serving them until the food ran out. Cathy McCroskey, a longtime customer, posed for a picture in front of the stand and pantomimed wiping away a tear. "This is a neighborhood icon," she said.
McCroskey and her husband, Steve, both 55, have lived in the Tujunga Village area since the late 1980s and came to pay one last visit to the stand they'd enjoyed for years. They took photos and, of course, ordered a bean and cheese burrito. They said the stand's Googie-style architectural design and history made it a neighborhood gem.
Near them, a large sheet of paper had been taped to a wall of the stand for people to jot their goodbyes.
"Sacred ground. We have been coming for four generations. It was the first food I ate and my kids ate. It saved my sister ... it was all she would eat when she was sick. Please prevail," wrote Kathryn Vanderveen.
"Henry, please keep the sign and stay in Studio City, we love you," another message said.
Vega, a 21-year veteran of the stand, said he hopes to do just that. He would like to retain the old location's ambience by using the old sign and menu and even hopes to replicate the colorful lettering on the stand's outside wall that spells "Henry's Tacos."
"I hope everything goes well," Vega said.
For Hood, the closure is the end of an era. She said the restaurant is where she grew up and recalled going to elementary school blocks away. After school, she'd walk to the stand to see her mother and linger there.
"A lot of the customers took me under their wing and were helpful to me," she said.
After Hood's mother, LeVonne Eloff, died in 2009 at 82, longtime customers shared stories with Hood, some of which she said she had never known. They told her, for example, that her mother and stepfather had sometimes used the honor system with customers.
Now, Hood said she's acting in the same vein, "paying it forward" by helping Vega get his start running the business, a move she sees as continuing her family's legacy.

17 comments:

Connie Diaz said...

Connie's Taco still serving up hundreds a day!

Anonymous said...

I like tacos but we don't need Mexicans to make them...

Anonymous said...

Obummer and his job recovery economy claim another...

Funny too: Obama says the unemployment data is doing down...

YEAH! After you have been looking unsuccessfully for a job for 3+ years and still can't get one, the "benefits" get cut and you are not counted in the system any more.

It DOES NOT MEAN that any person found work. Just that the person can't be tabulated officially as unemployed. A nasty house of numbers there...

Aldo Raine said...

I used to date a chick back home that worked part time at a strip club called the "Hairy Taco".

Things were much different in the 80s.

Mississippi Madman said...

Connie Diaz said...
Connie's Taco still serving up hundreds a day!

January 13, 2013 12:46 AM

and that aint CHEESE on THAT taco...

Anonymous said...

One down and 50 Million left to go !

Anonymous said...

After 51 years of making money this family never bought the property? Strange.

SpankDaddy said...

That's where Jim Rockford used to take Dennis for tacos.

Anonymous said...

I ate at this joint and just like that shit hole in alsip(el guillo) my ass exploded moments after eating there

Anonymous said...

Blogger SpankDaddy said...

That's where Jim Rockford used to take Dennis for tacos.

January 13, 2013 3:11 PM

Then get spanked in the gold Firebird,or was it a GTO?

Anonymous said...

The neighborhood stray dogs & cats will be happy this place closed !! They will no longer be part of the menu !!

Anonymous said...

Your taco has crabs!

Anonymous said...

My wife is on cpd and she has a pink taco and real big nipples.

Anonymous said...

Looks like a nice Folo's!

(eat shit and die)

Anonymous said...

.....My wife is on cpd and she has a pink taco and real big nipples.....

The entire watch already knows, she fucked everyone twice!

Heywood Jablowme

Anonymous said...

"...my ass exploded shortly after eating there..."

How did you feel after that? I'm guessing pretty good.

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