Dining With Denise Neil

Three young Wichita chefs are opening this tiny taco shop with big flavors

An itty bitty taco shop that will serve big flavors is set to open in Wichita in a little over a week.

Taco Locale, a new mini restaurant owned by three young chefs — Carlos Vera, Myranda Miller and Jason Rickard — will open at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 17. It’s taking over a small space in Revolutsia, the shipping container mall that opened last fall at Central and Volutsia, and it will serve the tacos made famous at a bi-weekly pop-up put on in the Pinole Blue parking lot earlier this year. (The tacos got even more famous when they were named the best tacos at last month’s Wichita Taco Fest.)

The shipping container space the restaurant will take over in Revolutsia is on the lower level between Boards and Azteka Boutique. It’s so small and skinny that there’s no room for seating indoors, but there will be a few stand-up tables against the wall. People can take their food to go or dine in the big Revolutsia courtyard.

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Wichita’s blue corn tortilla factory Pinole Blue is putting on a taco pop up on Friday. Courtesy photo

Every Tuesday through Saturday, Taco Locale will offer a rotating selection of three to five tacos filled with Kansas-sourced meat, and it will always offer at least one vegan/vegetarian option. The restaurant will also be open on Sundays, when it will serve brunch tacos only. Once they have their tacos, customers will be able to dress them up from a toppings bar that will include house-made salsas, pickles and other locally sourced, organic toppings.

In the future, the owners plan to offer more breakfast items and to expand the menu. They’ll also add alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. The hours will be 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays.

Vera, 28, is a graduate of Austin’s Le Cordon Bleu culinary school and has previously worked at YaYa’s and the 37 West Cafe at Koch Industries. He started the taco pop-ups earlier this year in the parking lot of Pinole Blue, 242 N. Cleveland, the company that provides the restaurant’s striking blue tortillas.

The new Taco Locale restaurant will have space for a few stand-up tables along a wall and a toppings bar, where people can dress their own tacos. Courtesy photo

His collaborator was his fiance, who also happens to be a chef. Myranda Miller, 25, has a culinary degree from The Art Institute of San Antonio, and she met Vera when the two worked at Biga on The Banks, a fine dining restaurant on San Antonio’s River Walk. They moved back to Miller’s native Kansas so she could finish her bachelor’s degree at Wichita State University.

The couple invited Jason Rickard, an East High School graduate, to join them in their endeavor. Rickard, 31, planned a law career in Chicago but moved to Denver to investigate his culinary passions. He worked at an Asian bistro called ChoLon in Denver and met Vera when he was home visiting his family and eating at YaYa’s. Rickard also worked for well-regarded Israeli, Italian and Scandinavian restaurants in Colorado.

Taco Locale will join two other restaurants operating in Revolutsia — ice cream and waffle shop Little Lion and German restaurant Prost.

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Denise Neil has covered restaurants and entertainment since 1997. Her Dining with Denise Facebook page is the go-to place for diners to get information about local restaurants. She’s a regular judge at local food competitions and speaks to groups all over Wichita about dining.