The sign is up for Illegal Tacos, the fast-casual spot going into the former Bain’s Deli on the corner of Broad and Lombard streets. Owner Florian Furxhiu is going for what he see as a humorous jab at the current political climate with the name. “I know it could be a little controversial, but it’s a funny name,” he says. “We’re joking that we’re making tacos so authentically Mexican, they’re illegal.” Furxhiu hopes to open in two weeks; he’s just waiting on a new gas meter.
Furxhiu, 31, is originally from Albania and moved to Philly in 2000. “I’m an immigrant myself,” he says. “I’m trying to make a positive, funny thing out of what’s going on now in America — sort of defining and making fun of the current political climate at the same time.”
Illegal Tacos will have a short menu of tacos, taco bowls, burritos, and rice bowls. The meat will be cooked on a spit and cut to order. “It’s going to be authentic,” he stresses. “I want to keep the menu simple and just serve the best tacos.”
Furxhiu also owns a South Philly coffee shop, on Passyunk Avenue between Broad and 15th, which he describes as more of a European-style neighborhood hang than a Starbucks. “It’s more for socializing, more European,” he says. “Every other business is a coffee shop in Europe.” When Illegal Tacos opens, likely before the end of the year, the hours will be 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. It’s not quite done, but take a peek inside: