Some expansion news for trendy-turned-chain Soho taqueria La Esquina: It’s headed even further uptown to the corner of 73rd and Second Avenue, an extra-prime location steps away from the brand new subway entrance on the Upper East Side. The addition is just in time; restaurants along the subway have reportedly had a huge jump in traffic since the subway’s opening.
The location at 1402 Second Ave. is formerly home to Pyramida Grill but has sat empty since 2012, likely due to nearby subway construction. It will come to life once again with La Esquina’s now-signature brand of colorful decor, paired with well-received tacos and tortas. It will be fast casual, with the same menu as the newer Midtown location, plus a full bar.
It’s unclear if it will have a similar not-so-secret downstairs or back area, like its original Soho spot. What there will be is a 22-seat outdoor area, in addition to 40 seats inside. Owner Derek Sanders anticipates that customers will be able to order a couple tacos, some mezcal, and be out the door in under 30 minutes.
La Esquina has been in expansion mode in recent years. Having opened the flagship in 2005, the group opened a location in Williamsburg in 2011, followed by Midtown this past fall. The new outpost marks the fourth location for what’s shaping up as a local chain. “La Esquina is starting to build neighborhood places to enjoy our food in a smaller, more local environment,” Sanders told Eater. “Soho will always be our flagship, but these taquerias are what we feel is taking the best aspects of what we have to offer in Soho and bringing them to more neighborhoods in NYC.”
This means only one thing: more locations to come. For now, the UES space is on track to open at the end of April. Stay tuned for details.