Feb 23, 2023 - Business

State Street taco stand gets permanent location in Millcreek

Photo courtesy: Tacos Don Rafa

Tacos Don Rafa, of Sears-parking-lot fame, is opening its doors this week in Millcreek.

Driving the news: The popular taco cart has moved into a permanent location at 3804 S. Highland Dr.

  • The grand opening comes just in time for lunch Friday, with a ribbon-cutting at 11:55am.

Why it matters: Tacos Don Rafa has been a Salt Lake institution since it launched its cart 25 years ago this month at 800 S. State St., near the former Sears building.

  • The Millcreek location is its first dine-in site.

Flashback: When the meat hit the griddle on Feb. 14, 1998, the State Street cart was breaking ground as the first taco stand in Utah, owner Jesús Rosas told Axios.

  • It helped popularize Mexican street food across Salt Lake, where vendors are now so ubiquitous you're never far from fresh pico.

Catch up quick: The cart's State Street spot was uncertain last year, when Intermountain Health demolished the former Sears building to make way for a new hospital.

  • It's unclear whether the site plan will preserve the parking lot corner Rosas rents for his cart, tables and customer parking — but he said he has a "good relationship" with Intermountain and expects to stay put for "another 25 years."
  • Meanwhile, Tacos Don Rafa added a Bountiful cart in October, with a patio and seating at 2301 S. Main.

The latest: The Millcreek restaurant is "open and ready," Rosas said, with the Millcreek Business Council planning to join Friday's festivities.

Kim's thought bubble: When I first started bar crawling in Salt Lake City in 2014, my friends and I would end the night eating this spot's delightfully greasy asada tacos.


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