Get ready to spice up Cinco de Mayo with a little help from Detroit Taco Bar. The city’s only taco bar-style restaurant is helping to ring in the Mexican holiday while chef and owner, Mushey Glenn adds a new twist on a traditional staple.
Launched in 2019 on Detroit’s west side in the North Rosedale Park community, Detroit Taco Bar has stood for two years. Launching as the second restaurant for Chef Glenn, who also owns The Pasta Bowl just blocks away, the restaurant takes tacos and adds an urban spin. Complete with jerk chicken birria, catfish and classic versions like chicken and beef, the neighborhood restaurant also serves Mexican street corn, elote, in plain, Cheeto and Hot Taki flavors.
“Detroit Taco Bar is my version of Mexican food. We have Tex-Mex. Any time we touch something, we put our souls in it. I wanted to do a bar where you can build your taco your own way,” says Chef Glenn.
Graduating from Henry Ford’s culinary program, the chef is on a mission to provide tasty, quality food to Detroiters and to those who live in surrounding communities. Aside from feeding the community, the restaurant is looking to spread awareness of healthy culinary options helping families with food insecurities obtain access to information and get access to a better quality of living.
In celebration of Cinco de Mayo, the restaurant plans to have deals and specials to satisfy any appetite. The restaurant will also celebrate a milestone on that day. In addition to their tacos, the restaurant offers classic cuisines like burritos, quesadillas and a guacamole that is made fresh in-house each day.
“We celebrate everything. Cinco de Mayo is officially our two-year anniversary. I plan on having some music going, introducing some taco specials. We’re just going to have a good time that day,” says Chef Glenn.”
The pandemic is forcing a new normal when it comes to in-door dining. While some have jumped back into the swing of reservations and fancy dinners, others have remained leery and reserved. As restaurants struggle to recover amid the on-going pandemic, the landscape has drastically changed forcing owners to pivot their business. Open just shy of one year at the top of the pandemic, it’s been a struggle for this fairly new venture.
Opting for a private fiesta is also a viable option to ring in the holiday. For those looking to celebrate Cinco de Mayo at home, Chef Glenn offers the restaurant’s catering services for custom orders and family favorites. The owner also gives some pointers on how to make tacos for the whole family to enjoy.
“We can create a taco bar for them! Play with the flavors. Go explore your city and check out southwest Detroit to purchase some authentic seasoning,” says Glenn.
Choosing to shop local to support the city’s growing food security community., the entrepreneur is committed to providing patrons with excellent service, employment opportunities and the chance to eat fresh, locally sourced meats and produce. Due to the pandemic, a shortage of goods from producers hit and caused access to plummet while the cost of supplies has doubled. As a result, the costs of the neighborhood favorite have slightly gone up, but the chef promises the same quality.
“I didn’t want to go up on my prices, but it was either go up or close. I can’t tap out. I’ve spent my life savings to live out my dream,” says Chef Glenn.
Urging customers to come out and support a local small business, the owner is hoping customers can help spread the word and tell the stories of community eateries that are not often recognized.
“Livernois is beautiful. Midtown is beautiful. The Fashion District is getting all the attention but if we’re not open and, in the community, the neighborhood won’t exist,” says Chef Glenn.
“I wanted to bring a different spin to the taco but keeping it local and keeping it affordable. Mothers today don’t have time to cook. I’m reachable, I’m accessible,” says Glenn.