Seeing the House of Donuts post makes me wonder … what’s going on with the Hacienda del Sol?
It has been closed since July due to a kitchen fire. Rumors of permanent closure abound.
Sad. I hated the food -- I called it "Mexican McDonalds" but the patio ... the patio.
Claire, that was a bit harsh. Some of us enjoyed it for close to three decades and will miss it.
I loved the food, not even close to "Mexican McDonalds." I can name many dishes that were the best in the ports for that dish. The chile rellenos was killer.
Heard rumors to that effect about a year ago.
I know a lot of folks who would agree with Claire and many who would agree with Johnm. To me it was Duluth comfort food, and oh my yes, the patio!
Any idea what plans Kevin has for the building?
The last of the cool dies in Duluth
It's been my impression that he was, for awhile anyway, trying to get back up and running. Until recently he had been making his quarterly liquor license payments. I was also told that there were some issues with the structure of the building. The owner of the Hacienda claimed the issue was caused by the construction of the parking ramp behind him. He wasn't able to get any compensation though and was left to foot the bill himself. Not sure where everything stands right now as far as reopening or shuttering the place for good.
Also floating around the rumor mill was that the kitchen which went ablaze didn't meet code and the insurance company was balking at making a payment for the damage.
Great location (parking issues aside) and opportunity for a smart restauranteur to come in and open a much needed authentic Mexican eatery.
Wish that I had the balls, know-how, and money to accomplish such.
I went to Jalapeno Express because Claire said it was good. I thought the Burrito was bland and way too big.
Sorry J -- try Jalapeno's tacos -- I prefer flour tortillas to corn, but Mr. Claire assures me the corn tortillas are good too. I usually order one or two chicken tacos a la carte and that does me. I also liked the chicken salad I had the last time I was there. Never had the burrito, but I did run into Ironic1 there the other day, and he said his burrito was messy, because there was sour cream smeared on the tortilla. Whoops.
As I have said previously, I didn't like Hacienda's food, but my kid loved it so I spent much time there back in the day before she decided Luce was her favorite eatery. I will miss that patio, and certainly hope another restaurant opens there, so the patio will continue to be available to us. To me, it's not spring in Duluth until that patio opens up.
And I wish Kevin well in his future endeavors, he is a really, really nice guy and always very hospitable to his customers.
Did Hacienda see a decrease in business after Lindo arrived?
Also in rumor mill - Kevin has found an investor and will re-open.
But this is just rumor.
Guess he should have sold the place instead of stubbornly insisting they build a hotel around it ... huh?
The salsa at this restaurant was an insult to anyone who has ever enjoyed normal salsa. They must have done something special to remove the flavor ... oh wow, unripe tomatoes and onion. This place is delicious.
La Cucaracha Norte or Gardens of Salonica Norte. Either would be great there.
Midnight winter freakout party on the patio for the first blizzard.
Their food always sucked, I gave up many years ago. Good riddance.
The food was medicore. More Norwegian than Mexican. However, the "Hacie Hussies" - the college waitresses - were awesome.
Bring back Chi Chi's.
Sad that the place is gone. I liked the vegetarian burritos better than any other place in town (save B-union). RIP
That patio is magical - the hotel that nearly swallows it makes it even more secret gardeny. It would sure be a great breakfast/lunch spot ... maybe with a Hacienda homage: huevos chiles rellenos, anyone?
Misto, what is so stubborn about not wanting to be bullied off a property you have been doing business at for years? I don't get it.
I always liked the food there. Maybe not the most authentic Mexican, but who cares? It was always fresh and good. Never had a bad time there. Eating in the patio on a nice summer day with a cold brew or Margarita was heaven. The Hacienda was a Duluth institution, and I for one will sadly miss it.
Casa de Queso.
Mary Tennis is right; that patio is magical! I remember going there the first night I moved to Duluth, August 1989. What an oasis!
I believe Kevin is involved developing some computer technology type stuff?
From Hacienda Del Sol's Facebook fan page:
OPEN LETTER FROM KEVIN 07/27/2011
The Hacienda del Sol remains closed as we take the necessary steps to repair and replace equipment damaged by a broiler flair-up in our main kitchen. Water from our sprinkler fire protection system did the majority of the damage. Further disruption occurred only a few days later when theft and vandalism destroyed our outdoor courtyard service building. Compressors and copper refrigeration coils were cut out of our cooler. These vandals literally stripped the stainless steel off our countertops.
We continued service in our satellite kitchen on Hacienda's second floor without the use of our outdoor service building or main kitchen. However, the overload on the secondary service areas caused equipment failure and the inability to maintain proper service to our customers. Furthermore, we saw potential hazards that could have lead to employee or customer injuries. For these reasons, on July 16, 2011, we temporarily closed to make repairs.
The Hacienda, our patrons, loyal friends, my family, and more importantly my staff, have had to deal with these trying events. For their continued support, concern, and friendship I am in awe and eternally grateful. As many of you are aware, these dedicated groups of people working at the Hacienda have endured far more than these recent tribulations. Over the past years, hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages, done during the development in our block, led to an unsuccessful and unfair legal settlement. I have no words to adequately thank these extraordinary people for taking on these overwhelming battles with me. The mental strain and financial effect of these situations has been severe, and yet these people have continued to support the Hacienda and me. Their "breath of care" is what keeps me going. Some have said, "Take the easier path and surrender." I will not roll over on all the people who have sustained a place that is far more than a business or a single person.
Over the decades, it has taken a "community" to create Hacienda del Sol, a creation I have been excited and honored to be a part of. During this temporary close, I have taken the time to reflect on these catastrophic events. As I do, I see my personal wounds and recognize my responsibility not be overwhelmed by the situations around me. It is because of the support of this large "community," I have faith in an optimistic future and maintain the strength to face this difficult path. My passion and dedication is to rebuild, refurbish, and renew the Hacienda del Sol.
Thank you all for your continued support, friendship, and prayers.
July 27 at 8:54pm
Thanks Kevin for clarifying (or de-clairefying) a lot of dumb rumors.
Yours is one of the last of the fine, local, independent,ethnic eating establishments following in the footprints of the great Macedonian Tom Pratchio of Natchio's Greektown ... and Mpls; Dinkytown's Mama D's (Sammy D's) whose Sicilian family served ethnic cuisine. And all share the same unique quality of service ... good food and wine, and where the owner/chef came out of the kitchen and talked with the customers. For want of a better word, call it charisma, hey...
The best is yet to be, Kevin. Developers arrived like a Sherman tank but you shall not be moved.
Used to eat there a lot, before my wife found a dreadlock in her food. The cook at the time coincidentally had dreads. They offered a free meal. Couldn't get her to go in there again after that.
Just one hair or the entire dread?
The problem with this place was not that it was inauthentic, it's that it wasn't actually good food. Duluthians, well... yeah. This place has the worst restaurants of anywhere I've lived.
It always kind of makes me sad when a staple of the area goes out of business. Much like that grody old book store downtown or if Last Place ever bites it. I may not have been a regular customer but you just get used to things being there and that kind of defines Duluth to me. I never liked Hacienda's food (or any of Duluth's Mexican restaurants, for that matter) but it's sad to see someplace that's been there forever go.
We called it "the House of Cheese." It was my favorite restaurant.
I want the "taconite" sign from the HDS front window.
Kevin, how do I go about redeeming my $40 gift certificate? I would appreciate a response. I have been unable to contact your restaurant by phone.
Looks like they are going to try and make a go of it and reopen in the next couple months. Kevin was in tonight to start the process of getting a new liquor license. Hopefully things fall in line and he'll be up and running soon.
A damned good case of the Mexicali Blues ... yeah! Bring back the cheese blanket.
My wife and I brought a pal from California there. He happens to be half Hispanic. His words and I quote, "you guys are lucky to have a Mexican restaurant like this." I personally never left hungry.
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