Long Live La Taqueria! The Battle to Save the Mission Icon Has Been Won
You have to be on your game to be considered “The Taqueria” in an area famous for stuffed tortilla goodness. La Taqueria has been honing their skills for 46 years and with the founder’s purchase of the iconic building, the Mission staple promises to keep it up for many years to come.
When Miguel Jara Sr. wanted to set up shop in 1972, he went to his parents for financial backing, which they kindly obliged. Jara’s parents purchased the building at 2889 Mission Street and their son got down to work – the grit and dedication paid off and La Taqueria became a favorite for hungry locals and an integral part of the neighborhood experience for authentic flavor-seeking tourists. The establishment picked up increasing notoriety over the years with some love from the likes of Bon Appetit and Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight, but it’s really all about the neighborhood folks that have filled themselves on the deliciously affordable tacos for the better part of their lives.
“The most consistent, best place to eat in San Francisco. PERIOD!” (Yelp reviewer Aakash G.)
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Jara, who paid up on the taxes and kept the business afloat, assumed he was the official property owner when his parents died. However, it would be soon discovered that the transfer of ownership transfer was never made legal and without a proper will in place, the building was left to all nine of the Jara’s children, the literal equivalent of way too many cooks in the kitchen. The future of La Taqueria was in danger as the siblings fought it out with lawsuits and countersuits that forced a court ruling to put the building up for sale, where it’s been in limbo since March.
Miguel Jara Sr. was faced with two options: move the restaurant to a new location or buy the building outright. Locals balked at the idea of losing one of their favorite spots. In an interview with ABC7, Mission resident Theresa Lopez stressed the importance of keeping the taqueria exactly where it’s always been: “You can’t even imagine the changes in the neighborhood and we need to keep some things the same.”
Miguel Jara Sr. wasn’t too fond of leaving either, but as we all know, real estate in San Francisco doesn’t come cheap.
As directed by the court, the property was listed at nearly $1.6 million, up quite a bit from the $39,000 Jara’s parents paid out in 1972. It would be a huge feat to outbid third-party buyers and keep the restaurant in its rightful place, but Miguel and his two sons that now help him run the joint rose to the occasion and won a $1.7 million bid to keep the legacy in tact for the family and the neighborhood it’s served for nearly 50 years.
Congratulations to La Taqueria, and long live the chorizo!