Cuellar family bringing two new restaurants to Oak Cliff

Tejano used to be El Chico No. 8. Now it is set to become El Corazon de Tejas.

The Cuellar family has been in the restaurant business in Oak Cliff since the 1950s. And now two members of the family are planning new restaurants, about a block from one another, in Oak Cliff.

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The Cuellar family opened El Chico on West Davis near Zang in 1955. They changed the name to Tejano Restaurant in 1978, serving neon-green frozen margaritas and arguably our neighborhood’s best Tex-Mex.

Now owners John and Susan Cuellar have plans to transform this Oak Cliff institution into El Corazon de Tejas. Tejano will close after lunch on Sunday, Jan. 20, Culture Map Dallas reports, and reopen next month.

The menu at El Corazon de Tejas will include some Tejano favorites along with more chef-driven fare, and the restaurant’s interior will receive a makeover.

Tejano currently is the lone Dallas restaurant in the Cuellar family. But  not for long.

Two Cuellar sisters, Alycen Cuellar and Adrien Cuellar-McGuire are planning a new restaurant with their mom, Marcia Cuellar. They have leased the building adjacent to IndieGenius, at 409 N. Zang, according to the Dallas Morning News.

The new restaurant, The Local Oak, will have Tex-Mex, “chicken-fried steak, burgers, salads, soups, vegetable dishes and more,” according to the News.

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  • My family took me to the “updated” version Friday night (Feb 15) to celebrate my birthday.  This place is  not ready to open.  The menu was extremely limited, the waiter did not seem to understand English and did not know what beers were available.  Worst of all, the food was awful.  Maybe in time they will get their act together.  My advice (belated) would have been:  change the name if you must, update the decor to appeal to a younger crowd, but make few changes to the menu or the recipes.   After 30 years of eating at Tejano’s I am sad to say it will be a long time before I go back.  Besides, I miss Sam.  As he used to say, “… a French Jew managing a Mexican food restaurant…only in Oak Cliff!”

  • Heard from a friend they decided to “update” Sam, the friendly manager with the bow tie as well. He will be missed very much by a lot of people I know that have eaten for Tejano’s for years. 

  • I knew something was up! glad to hear they are not leaving Oak Cliff, but bringing us more homestyle Tex-Mex. Tired of seeing so many taco stands going up on every corner.

  • “arguably our neighborhood’s best Tex-Mex.”… if by arguably you mean you want to argue about this point,  I’m game. But I’m thrilled to see an overhaul of the concept!

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