El Burrito at 48th and Chicago Avenue has made the decision to close permanently. The restaurant was the Minneapolis outpost of St. Paul’s icon of Twin Cities Mexican dining. Opened in August of 2018, El Burrito had replaced Pepito’s, another family-run Mexican restaurant.
In a Facebook post yesterday, co-owner Milissa Diaz wrote that the pandemic was a hurdle too big to surmount. “Due to COVID-19 crisis and governmental resulting actions, unfortunately with heavy hearts we announce that we are now permanently closed.”
In 1979, Tomas and Maria Silva opened El Burrito as an 800-square-foot market in Saint Paul, with the sole intent to sell a few Mexican grocery staples to other immigrants. The couple arrived in Minnesota as migrant workers from Aguascalientes, a state in Central Mexico. At their store, they began by selling basic ingredients, such as tortillas and chiles, to serve the burgeoning Mexican community in Saint Paul. Soon a panderia was added and the business required a move and expansion to a larger location, where it continues to operate to this day.
When Tomas and Maria retired, their daughters Milissa Diaz and Suzanne Silva and niece Analita Silva took over the business, and continued to serve the Twin Cities with all the grocery goods, take away items, and a full service restaurant, famous for its giant burritos and perfect margaritas.
El Burrito had expanded to Minneapolis before, with a stand and market inside Midtown Global Market. That location closed in 2015.