El Taco Will Soon Serve Homemade Mexican-Inspired Fare To The Community Around Penn’s Campus

Media Relations Contact:
Jennifer Rizzi, Communications Director
Penn Facilities & Real Estate Services
215.573.6107, rizzi@upenn.edu

El Taco, a locally owned and operated Mexican restaurant serving the University City community since 2018, will open a new location at 3716 Spruce Street in late 2021, announced Penn’s Division of Facilities & Real Estate Services. El Taco was founded by husband and wife duo Edna and Alvaro Luna, along with friend Brett Weinheimer and features delicious made-from-scratch Mexican-inspired fare.

The idea for El Taco came from nights where the three sat around the Luna’s dining table enjoying Edna’s cooking.  Al Luna and Weinheimer are both graduates of the Wharton School and long dreamed of starting a community-based business in West Philadelphia, steps away from a campus where the seeds of entrepreneurship were first sewn.  The restaurant showcases these shared ideals.  El Taco is committed to bringing meaningful, team-based employment to their Philadelphia crews.  They also show appreciation for their neighbors with specials for first responders and university residential advisors, as well as fundraisers for local groups.

“The entire El Taco team couldn’t be more excited about the reality of bringing Edna’s amazing Mexican-inspired fare to the heart of Penn’s campus, on the same block as Al and I walked as Penn freshmen 25 years ago,” Brett commented as they countdown to opening.  Al and Edna added enthusiastically, “We are looking forward to welcoming the Penn and West Philadelphia communities to our table very soon!”

Edna Luna serves as head chef, responsible for all the recipes on the menu, taking many of her cooking lessons from her mother who owned a restaurant in Guatemala for years.  Since opening its first location in the Powelton Village neighborhood three years ago, El Taco has served Mexican-inspired dishes including crispy tacos, quesadillas, and burrito bowls. They are well known for their homemade guacamole and salsas, with varieties ranging from creamy chipotle to smoky guajillo or the spicy El Scorpion.  They have been recognized by both Door Dash and Uber Eats as a ‘Most Loved’ and ‘Top Eats’ Restaurant respectively. 

“Penn strives to bring a unique mix of dining options to the campus and surrounding neighborhood,” said Ed Datz, Penn’s Executive Director of Real Estate. “El Taco is a popular locally owned staple here in University City, and we are excited that they have picked a location in the Shop Penn district for their next venture.”

Learn more about the story of El Taco at www.eltacoandburritos.com and the Mexican food that these partners in business and friendship are serving up for the locals. Plan to try them for their Taco Tuesdays or to take the El Macho Burrito challenge, and then come back often for the friendly atmosphere and the memorable dishes that make every day a little more inspired.

MSC Retail represented the University of Pennsylvania in the transaction.

About SHOP PENN Retail District

Penn’s retail district offers an inspired, contemporary shopping and dining experience, open to all. Spanning ten city blocks from 30th to 40th Streets and across Spruce, Walnut, and Chestnut Streets, the district features more than 75 curated shopping and dining outlets immersed in the region’s most beautiful and historic university campus. The diverse collection of retail offerings—including national brands and independent shops—provides the highest quality options at every price point for the Penn community, surrounding neighborhoods, and beyond. Visit the SHOP PENN website for a full listing of retailers.