Taco Spot to become Banditos, 1542 Gastropub vacating to become indoor waterpark for babies*

Well boy howdy, a full three months after Riverside’s The Reserve shut its doors “forever” and roughly two months in change after the rebranded 1542 Gastropub opened its doors, word comes from a little birdie that the staff and crew at 1542 is shutting its doors *yet again* and vacating in an effort to focus its efforts on the just as recently-it-would-seem and renovated Taco Spot, which in a texas-style whirlwind has acquired the liquor license from the now defunct-and-absorbed Federal Hill Lounge and will be reopening as Banditos, with a 6 day license (closed Sundays).

The birdie sent me a photo of the new menu (click to enlarge):

So, two years+ with one restaurant, a rebrand, two months of reopened rebrand, a second restaurant open less than a year and an immediate rebrand with a liquor license acquisition. Where the fuck are these guys getting their money, and can I have some? I’m not even going to speculate on how Banditos might fare just based on the menu, or the fact that it’s a 6 day establishment, or even ruminate on the wisdom of vacating a literally just reopened restaurant that the Baltimore Sun *just* (April 25th!) gave a pretty great review for, which I would guess the landlord of the property is very appreciative of as far as the renovations are concerned, I’m just going to continue this run on sentence with lots of commas and say what the hell is going on with these people, and where is this money coming from?

Are they oil sheiks? Dot Com billionaires? Is this whole thing just one elaborate tax writeoff scheme? Either way I’m sure the folks who are so eager for South Baltimore’s recent resurgence in seemingly decent food developments to continue unabated are getting irritated with the constant turmoil and uncertainty associated with 1542 Light St. Me, I’m more into this cup and ball right now. Whoa! Wow! Man, you never know which way this crazy ball’s going to go! hahahahahahahah!!!

Did Taco Spot even need a rebranding? Was it any good? I can’t keep up with this craziness.

*not a guarantee

19 thoughts on “Taco Spot to become Banditos, 1542 Gastropub vacating to become indoor waterpark for babies*

  1. My girlfriend and I just went to 1542 on the Friday before Memorial Day….had a pretty good experience. The food was good, although I wish it was priced a bit lower for “pub fare” — you want people to eat more of the small bites during their stay, so it needs to be priced as such. Although, the cocktails were priced lower than I’d expect, so I guess it balanced out! I never heard of or went to The Reserve, so I don’t know why they changed, but maybe 1542 didn’t take off as fast/big as they wanted. It was pretty empty when we went, and that’s on a Friday of a holiday weekend — not a good omen. But the world wasn’t built in one day, so maybe patience is necessary.

  2. WTF? Gastropub runs the bar at the merritt pool! Where will i drink overpriced beers and gawk at bikini clad ladies?

  3. Sounds like a couple of successful entrepreneurs to me…

    Who cares where they got the $$, it’s revitalizing a dead spot on S Charles St…so whether a successful business on Randall/Light St financed this venture or they got the dough from “Pop-Pop”, it’s a welcomed addition. It’s only going to stimulate things and make the establishments around this one work harder to earn our business.

  4. 1542 was effing vile.  we had wings that were greasy and raw, but the chef said they were ‘brined’ so it just LOOKED raw…false.  and vile.  Then we moved on (shoot me for ordering this) the savory scallion waffle with escargot.  salt bomb escargot.  

    Good riddance.  Never a good idea to go into a restaurant with one other person in it.  In a vibrant city neighborhood.  

    Hersh’s forever!

    1. Come one, when did Baltimore become a vibrant city?  I truly believe that you are overreacting. 

  5. Ugh… I liked the Taco Spot as my late-night “go to” when the bars were closing or even just picking up dinner on the way home.  I was looking forward to it re-opening.  If they’re now a tequila bar with fusion tacos I will probably just skip it.  Honestly, it may be good food (?!) but I can’t imagine ordering anything on that menu.  Oh well, I enjoyed it for a little while.

  6. The food at 1542 rivaled any establishment in the city serving great cuisine. That said it will be sad to see them go. I had the wings and the escargot and both were outstanding.

  7. Taco Spot was NO BUENO.
    It was a jacked up copy of Chipotle/Baja Fresh/Qdoba.
    The menu for Bandidtos looks ten times better than the menu for the misleadingly (don’t think that’s a word, but I’m rolling with it) named Taco Spot. In my opinion, Taco Spot should have been what the name implied: a TACO Spot; a place with a variety of tacos.
    Here’s to hoping the Banditos menu will expand, as their taco options, and drink menu looks promising and actually appetizing.

  8. First, thanks to all of our supporters of 1542 Gastropub as well as up and coming Banditos.  Also, thanks to all who have provided criticism as we take it in stride in hopes to better our future establishments and provide a product and destination that Baltimore lacks.  We feel that 1542 was an excellent rebranding that offered a casual atmoshphere, superb service, food & cocktail menu at a reasonable price.  For those who chose not to inquire the facts around the rebranding, the minimal work was done by the hands of the partners and their supportive friends, and at little cost.  Not oil sheiks, not dot com billionaires, not drugs, and definitely no tax write off.  

    The fact of the matter is that we were victims of location and stricken to a parking situation that does not favor the type of establishment we hoped to be.  Bluegrass has valet because they have a lot to park cars in, as does Row House.  1542 does not.  Hershes & Slyce may not have valet, but their overhead is way lower than ours…I can assure you of that, it’s pizza.  Has anyone from this blog inquired the current financial standings of any of the aforementioned and any restaurants in general that are off the beaten path?  I can assure you that a majority of those restaurants/bars have seen a decrease in business in the recent years, unfortunately for us we offered a fare that requires a credible kitchen staff that comes at a price.  Not to mention the increases in alcohol tax and the increase in credit card transactions that we pay inflated fees on.  We wouldn’t expect the common consumer to understand the under workings of running a business of this nature, but we assure you it comes at a cost and requires a lot of hard work and reinvestment of time and money.  Our closing not only hurts us but also those who support us.  The fact of the matter is that this is a business decision.  If the numbers don’t add up, then action must be taken.As for Banditos, we look forward to what we have to come.  We assure you it’s going to be awesome and a place for everyone.  Our food will be tacos with a flare.  All meats will be braised or smoked, cocktails created from the likes of a mixologist, or can beers if that’s your liking.  Exciting food, fun atmosphere & good drinks.  If anyone would like the facts, feel free to stop by 1118 S. Charles St. and ask for one of the owners Sean or Drew, as we are in there hands on working to get it built and open.  After all, we have a Loan to pay back.

    1. Appreciate what you do for the neighborhood.  Running a business, much less a small-business in a city like Baltimore is truly a hurdle.  Try and get some exciting specials or low-cost options possibly?  Anyway, we look forward to checking out Banditos and will welcome it to the neighborhood.  Any time table as to your opening?

    2. Guys, so sorry to see you go.  We were possibly your biggest fans at 1542 and will miss all of the amazing meats, the fresh-baked breads, the drinks, the friendly faces, and the impeccable quality of everything on the menu.  Banditos will be great, I’m sure – the teaser menu was fantastic – but know that at least two people appreciated all of the fresh, local food and the unwavering dedication to quality you brought to the neighborhood in the recent past.  Best of luck on the new endeavor.

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