Tacubaya, the sister-restaurant to Doña Tomás, is moving two doors down on Fourth Street. Photo: Jeremy Brooks/Flickr

Last month, California-French bistro Pompette on Fourth Street abruptly closed, just shy of its one-year anniversary. Over the weekend, signage went up announcing who is taking over the space — Tacubaya, Dona Savitsky’s popular fast-casual Mexican taqueria that is just two doors away from Pompette, will move in in July.

Savitsky opened Tacubaya 15 years ago as a counter-service sister restaurant to her full-service Mexican restaurant, Doña Tomas in Temescal. Since then, it’s been an area favorite for its menu of tasty tacos, tostadas and other casual taqueria fare, made with fresh, high-quality and flavorful ingredients inspired by the street snacks of Mexico City.

Pompette closed in April. The space is twice the size of Tacubaya’s current location. Photo: Sarah Han
Pompette closed in April. The space is twice the size of Tacubaya’s current location. Photo: Sarah Han

The new, larger space is likely to be welcomed by the restaurant’s customers as much as its owners. Tacubaya is often busy, with a line snaking out the door, and, at peak hours, diners can be seen hunting, hovering and jockeying for seating. At 2285 square feet, the new location is about twice the size of its current spot.

Although the restaurant will continue to be counter-service, it will add catering and dinners-to-go. The new space will also feature a full bar and designated outdoor cocktail seating area, with the bar focusing on tequila and mezcal drinks. Inside, a mezzanine space will allow Tacubaya to provide private dining for up to 30 guests.

Chicken quesadilla at Tacubaya in Berkeley. Photo: Sarah Han

Tacubaya plans to keep its current menu, but add a few new botanas (snacks), like taquitos and sopes. The new to-go menu will allow customers to pick-up meals like rotisserie chicken, beans, rice, tortillas and more, for easy dinners at home.

In case you were wondering about its name, Tacubaya is a reference to a neighborhood in Mexico City which influential modern architect Luis Barragán called home. The design of Tacubaya (and Doña Tomas) is inspired by Barragán, and the new space will also pay homage to him. Expect bold, bright colored walls, Mexican tiles, wood and leather banquettes and rattan hanging fixtures — a mix of modern and traditional, mirroring the vibrant culture of Mexico City. The huge wrought-iron chandelier in its current space will move with the restaurant.

Due to its proximity to the new space, Tacubaya is expecting a seamless move. It plans to close its doors in mid-July and open in the new space with the same staff just days after.

Tacubaya will be at 1782 Fourth St. (near Delaware), Berkeley

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Sarah Han was the editor of Nosh from 2017 to 2021. Previously, she worked as an editor at The Bold Italic, the San Francisco Chronicle and the San Francisco Bay Guardian. In 2020, Sarah won SPJ NorCal's...