The Laredo Taco Company — that quick-serve restaurant found in Texas convenience stores and made famous when the late food wizard Anthony Bourdain ate a barbacoa taco at the one in Marfa on his Parts Unknown show — has a new location just north of Hobby Airport.
It’s inside a brand new 7-Eleven store open 24 hours a day within walking distance of more than 3,500 apartment units and hundreds of single-family homes.
“Along with gas and convenience store sales, 7-Eleven and the developer expect that this site will do extremely well with Laredo Taco providing a steady flow of additional income to this store,” said Austin Blodgett, vice president of investment sales at RealSource Group, the commercial real estate firm that brokered the sale of the newly built store from a Houston developer to an operator from Southern California.
“This is a great location with excellent visibility, a large 48-foot pylon sign directly on Broadway Street, and less than one mile from Houston’s Hobby International Airport” with over 15 million passengers annually, he said.
“7-Eleven has little to no competition within a 3-mile radius and is in the direct driving path for rental car returns and major overnight paid parking lots at Houston Hobby Airport,” Blodgett added.
Inside the store, the Laredo Taco Company sells tacos served on warm flour tortillas made from scratch in on-site kitchens each day.
7-Eleven acquired the Laredo Taco Company restaurants, which were originally in Stripes convenience stores in South Texas, as part of a 1,000-store acquisition from Sunoco in 2018. Now 7-Eleven is adding Laredo Tacos to the majority of its new stores in Texas — which is good news for fans of Anthony Bourdain and barbacoa, the slow-roasted Mexican-style meat.
In a 15-second promotional video for the Oct. 21, 2018 episode of his TV show, celebrity chef Bourdain bellies up to a 7-Eleven glass display counter with David Beebe, Presidio County justice of the peace, and Marfa Public Radio DJ Primo Carrasco.
The men explain that in Marfa, it is not unusual to see chefs from some of the town’s best restaurants buying the tacos at least once a week.
“Unbelievable,” Bourdain says. “From a gas station.”
The show was broadcast a few weeks after his death.
The new Hobby Area District store, which opened in June, is at 8500 Broadway and Rockhill Street, a location that sees 30,000 cars per day, according to Blodgett. The new store is in a 4,842-square-foot building on 1.1 acres.
Blodgett, based in California, said there is high out-of-state demand for commercial property in Texas.
A big selling point of the deal, he said, was the fact that it is located in Houston proper, the fourth most populous city in the United States with 2.3 million residents. He noted that the Houston Metropolitan Statistical Area is the fifth largest in the nation with a population of 7.1 million and continues to see massive population growth.
— By Brian Rogers