Story & Photos by Brenda Rees
EAGLE ROCK — The mystery continues at Ernie Jr’s Taco House, which quietly announced that it would serve up its last Grande Burrito and platters of Mexican-American food this coming Saturday, April 19.
Did a developer entice the owner Ernie Cruz with big dollar signs? Why are they shutting down so quickly? What’s going to happen to this large restaurant location with ample parking near the 134 freeway on Broadway?
The only thing we do know is that lines are long and parking lots are full for lunch and dinner at the mid-century inspired architectural taco house. Signs that say “We will close earlier if we run out of food” have probably inspired diners to arrive earlier to get one last taste of the burritos (including the giant “Grande Burrito” that would feed a small basketball team), guacamole and margaritas.
The Cruz family introduced the first Ernie’s Taco House in Lincoln Heights in 1944 – another branch of the restaurant opened in 1955 on Colorado Boulevard but was relocated to its presented location on Broadway with a new moniker: Ernie Jrs Taco House.
Owner Ernie is hard to find these days and don’t bother calling for reservations. They aren’t taking them and the phone is ringing off the hook.
Brenda Rees is a writer and resident of Eagle Rock.