fish tacos at taqueria morita photo by izaiah johnson

Taqueria Morita will open permanent location in former Wasabi space in the Central West End in spring 2024

Taqueria Morita, the seasonal pop-up from Take Root Hospitality (TRH), is about to become a permanent affair. After two summers being located in the pavilion area adjacent to Vicia, the popular Mexican eatery is getting its own digs in the former Wasabi space next door at 4239 Duncan Ave. in the Cortex Innovation District in the Central West End. The new incarnation of the restaurant is expected to open in March 2024.

“With the season ending this year, we were trying to decide the next step,” said TRH co-owner Tara Gallina. “Operating a restaurant that only operates outdoors presents a lot of challenges.” She noted that last year the concept moved to Winslow’s Table, another TRH restaurant, for the colder months, but that it wasn’t an ideal solution. TRH had been on the lookout for an option to take Taqueria Morita from a seasonal to a year-round operation. The company reached out to Midas Hospitality, which owns the Wasabi space, and eventually a deal was struck.

“To keep [Taqueria Morita] in essentially the same space but with a roof seemed like a great next step to grow the brand and see what we can do with the concept in a year-round space,” Gallina said.  “It feels like a natural progression.”

The new Taqueria Morita will have approximately 100 seats and will be able to host large groups. The space will be redone with a Northern Mexico theme, designed by Space Architects, and will feature a Mariscos bar with a selection of seasonal raw seafood dishes as a focus point. TRH partner and culinary director Aaron Martinez will remain as Taqueria Morita’s head chef, and he’ll be overseeing a menu that will expand along with the space. Lunch will be offered, including Taqueria Morita’s popular tacos, along with a selection of salads and bowls among other dishes. The dinner menu will feature more larger entree options and build-your-own options, like whole cuts of meat served up with tortillas and a selection of sauces and garnishes. There will also be a full catering menu. At the bar, expect a larger selection of agave spirits, margarita variations and draft beer. A new, extended happy hour from 3 to 6 p.m. with drink specials and plenty of bar snacks will also be put in place, featuring favorites like the signature MargMorita, a wide selection of tequilas and mezcals along with agua frescas.