Famed Chef Enrique Olvera to Open Taco Eatery in Williamsburg


A new taco restaurant from superstar chef Enrique Olvera is headed to Williamsburg, Brooklyn, this fall. 

Tacos Atla signed a 10-year lease for 2,800 square feet at the base of the four-story mixed-use building at 142 North Fifth Street, according to tenant broker Max Talpalar of Green Owl Real Estate and landlord broker Richard Babeck of Tri State Commercial Realty.

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Asking rent was $120 per square foot, Talpalar said.

Tacos Atla began as a pop-up in Mexico City, home to Olvera’s acclaimed restaurant Pujol, and announced plans to move to an unnamed location in Williamsburg in April, Spanish-language magazine Revista Central reported. 

Headed by restaurateur Santiago Perez, Olvera and designer Alonso De Garay, the new Tacos Atla will feature a 1,800-square-foot restaurant and 1,000-square-foot basement at the corner of Bedford Avenue and North Fifth Street, Talpalar said. Perez plans to take inspiration from his NoHo eatery, Atla, for the new venue.

“Atla was born five years ago in NoHo from our love for Mexican food and our desire to build community around it,” Perez said. “With Tacos Atla, our intention is to further build on that mission, but focusing much more on tacos. The menu will change often, but will highlight some of our favorite tacos we’ve been serving in NoHo, and we’re very excited to share it with Williamsburg and build community.”

And Tacos Atla’s new storefront certainly hit the spot, Talpalar said.

“It’s an absolute home-run of a location,” Talpalar said. “[It’s] on what is the busiest and [most] easily accessible location in Williamsburg, and the expectation is that it will be a massively popular neighborhood destination.”

Tacos Atla closed on the deal in 2022 and has spent the past year renovating the property’s kitchen, which previously belonged to French restaurant Fabiane’s, said Tri State’s Babek, who represented landlord Metropolitan Avenue Associates with colleague Eddie Keda. The eatery also purchased Fabiane’s previous lease for the space, including all of its furniture and appliances, and de Garay will design the interior, Perez said.

“It was a win-win for everyone,” Babek said. “Once it’s open, it’s going to be the hottest corner in Williamsburg by far.”

Tacos Atla will certainly be a hot spot with Olvera in the kitchen. With the backing of Perez, the famed chef debuted in New York in 2015 with the upscale Mexican restaurant Cosme, a spot Eater credited for raising the bar on Mexican fare in Gotham. Perez and Olvera followed it up in 2017 with Atla, a more casual venue located in NoHo, Eater reported. 

Tacos ATLA’s menu will include some of the popular flavors it served up in Mexico City, such as al pastor, chicken with cucumber and cabbage, and suadero tacos featuring onion, cilantro and avocado, Dimension Turistica reported.

“It felt natural to start this adventure down there and have a dialogue with Mexico City that has such a profound relationship with taco culture,” Perez said. “We plan on bringing some of what we served down there to Williamsburg when we open this fall.”

The eatery also applied for a liquor license to serve beer, wine and cocktails, and the application is expected to be reviewed by the New York State Liquor Authority in September.

Bar or no bar, Talpalar believes Tacos Atla will make quite the splash on Williamsburg’s food scene.

“The quality of the restaurant will really force the other restaurants in the neighborhood to raise their game,” Talpalar said. “This is one of the best chefs in the world. … Any time Enrique Olvera opens a restaurant, it’s a big deal.”

A representative for Metropolitan Avenue Associates did not immediately respond to requests for comment. A spokesperson for Perez declined to comment. 

Celia Young can be reached at cyoung@commercialobserver.com.