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Mississippi Taco Chain Babalu Tapas and Tacos Fails to Catch On in Atlanta

The Midtown location is closed, and the owners scrap plans to expand to Roswell

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An empty restaurant with tables set with a big read sign reading Sorry, We’re Closed in black letters Getty Images
Beth McKibben is the editor and staff reporter for Eater Atlanta and has been covering food and cocktails locally and regionally for 12 years.

After opening on Peachtree Place in 2017, Babalu Tapas and Tacos calls it quits in Midtown, and the owners no longer plan to expand to a second location in Roswell, the AJC first reported.

Signs the Mississippi-based restaurant chain might be in trouble came earlier this summer when owners Eat Here Brands filed chapter 11 bankruptcy and then sold its remaining restaurants to the Spell Restaurant Group. Apparently, Babalu’s new owners made the decision not to acquire the Midtown location or expand to Canton Street in Roswell as part of the sale “due to lease issues and costs to operate” in Atlanta.

Atlantans never really seemed to embrace the restaurant. According to some Yelp reviews, Babalu’s was plagued with slow service and didn’t offer food or drinks that couldn’t be found elsewhere nearby or throughout the city.

Babalu, which is named for the song Ricky Ricardo sings in the 1950s sitcom I Love Lucy, served dishes such as guacamole made at the table, tamales, duck confit tacos, lamb sliders, Cuban tortas, and Mexican street corn on its menu.

33 Peachtree Place NE, Atlanta.