Fresh on the heels of the news Midtown restaurant Henry’s is closing on 10th Street at the end of the month, the owners of Rreal Tacos announced they have acquired majority ownership of neighboring restaurant Zocalo. However, the name isn’t changing and most of the current menu will remain intact.
Chef Lucero Martinez-Obregon and her brothers Marco and Luis Martinez will still be involved in the day-to-day operations at Zocalo, a restaurant the Martinez family opened on 10th Street in the heart of Midtown in 1995. With the majority ownership stake now in the hands of Rreal Tacos owners Damian Otero and Miguel Hernandez, the plan is to bring “new energy and new systems” in to give the restaurant a much-needed refresh after 30 years in business. This refresh includes the return of some of the original recipes and dishes from when Zocalo first opened in Midtown, like blue corn quesadillas stuffed with mushrooms, poblano pepper rajas, and chorizo, a torta Cubamex, and sopecitos surtidos (fried masa patties toped with steak and pork chicharrón, queso fresco, crema, and green salsa). New margaritas are being added to the bar program.
Originally a gas station, the Martinez family converted the building into a Mexican restaurant, using family recipes passed down from generation to generation to create dishes for the menu. Many of the ingredients weren’t available in Atlanta during Zocalo’s early years and were often shipped to the family from Chicago and Mexico or packed in suitcases and delivered by visiting relatives.
The Martinez family also owns and operates the Taqueria La Luz stall at Chattahoochee Food Works in Underwood Hills.
Originally owned by chef Adrian Villarreal (formerly of the Spence), Rreal Tacos opened nearly a decade ago on the corner of 6th and Juniper streets in Midtown, featuring tacos, ingredients, and flavors akin to those found in Villarreal’s hometown of Monterrey, Mexico. Otero and Hernandez took over ownership of Rreal Tacos from Villarreal in 2022 and are in the midst of expanding the restaurant to multiple locations around Atlanta. Rreal Tacos is set to replace Farm Burger in Buckhead next spring.