Cristina Martinez and Ben Miller, owners of the beloved South Philly Barbacoa cart, have announced that Saturday, June 20 will be their last day serving out of the cart as we know it at Eighth and Watkins. But that's actually good news, because it means they're ready to move into a more permanent home. Per a post to Instagram:
We are getting ready to make some moves! And we need to take a short hiatus as we transition into what's next. Most important to us is for our customers to be more comfortable, and to have better service. So we are closing the cart. Tomorrow will be our LAST DAY at 8th and Watkins! Stay tuned for an announcement about our next move!
Comments to their Facebook page included a further clarification that "what's next" has them headed to 11th and Morris. And Miller has just confirmed to Eater Philly that he and Martinez are in fact moving into 1703 S. 11th St., which has been home to Vegan Commissary since December 2013. The Commissary recently announced via Facebook it would not be renewing its lease at that location, with plans to seek a new space and expand their business.
Martinez and Miller previously looked into setting up shop at artist Isaiah Zagar's warehouse space at Tenth and Watkins, though that idea fell through in the earliest stages. Since then, they've continued vending streetside every weekend, in addition to catering and special events. Miller tells us that Vegan Commissary owner Steve Laurence and his crew are good friends, and have helped mentor the Barbacoa team as they worked on taking this next step.
The brick-and-mortar shop could open as soon as the first weekend in July (pending the approval of the Health Department). But for now, tomorrow's the last day to get your barbacoa fix from the cart. As usual, service will begin around 5 a.m. and will go until sell-out, so plan to arrive early.