Juan’s Flying Burrito, New Orleans’s Tex-Mex mini-chain with a cult following (and a small but vocal group of detractors) will reopen on Oak Street after closing its Uptown location due to rising rents, co-owner Jay Morris confirmed Tuesday.
Morris says they “were fortunate to be able to grab the space” at 8140 Oak Street, the former home of Live Oak Cafe, which closed in May after struggling throughout the pandemic and then with the profit-related fallout following Hurricane Ida. Juan’s owners opted not to renew their lease on Magazine Street at the end of May, citing a substantial rent hike (rumored to be double the previous rate). Shortly after Juan’s confirmed plan to close Uptown, the Whole Foods next door, which has been there since before Hurricane Katrina, went on sale for $36.3 million.
The Juan’s at the corner of Magazine and Joseph Streets has been around for five years, but the first of the four restaurants (not including a newly opened Pensacola location) opened in 1997 on Magazine Street in the LGD, apparently inspired by San Francisco Mission-style burrito joints but with a punk-rock aesthetic and Creole twists to menu staples of nachos, tacos, burritos, and quesadillas. It became known for its lively atmosphere, strong margaritas, and affordable pricing. The second location opened in Mid City in 2002, and the third in the CBD in 2014 (the original LGD restaurant is still open).
Owners hope to open on Oak Street sometime in August, once they get the liquor license and make some updates to the space “to make it more Juan’s-ish,” says Morris.