New taco restaurant planned on James Lovell Street downtown

Owners want to bring modern concept, more people to neighborhood

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New restaurant Lazo’s Taco Shack could open this spring in downtown Milwaukee’s Westown neighborhood, two blocks east of the Marquette University campus.

Brothers Jose and Alfonso Lazo, and his wife Flor, plan to open the concept in a vacant 2,200-square-foot space, located at 641 N. James Lovell St.

The eatery would serve Spanish and Latin American-inspired cuisine with a modern twist, differing from the many more-traditional Mexican restaurants throughout the city, Jose Lazo said.

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“It will be something different, something people will recognize,” Alfonso Lazo said.

Its menu will offer a variety of tacos, burritos and quesadillas, as well as Mexican-style burgers and hot dogs, or “taco dogs,” he said. With a primary focus on food, the restaurant will initially limit its beverage selection to soda and beer only.

The Lazos hope to open their restaurant by March or April. Renovations to the space, which has sat vacant for four years, are currently underway, and license applications were recently filed with the city of Milwaukee.

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Lazo’s Taco Shack would join nearby establishments The High Note bar, Gyro MKE and Build-a-Burger in a somewhat desolate part of Westown. But the Lazos hope the restaurant will attract Marquette students, downtown business professionals and residents of the surrounding area.

“I know the certain spot we’re at doesn’t have much activity, but we want to bring more people to the area,” Jose said.

The restaurant will be open daily for lunch and dinner, with table seating for almost 50 people and bar seating. Lazo said it will offer “rapid food service,” with short wait times, especially during the lunch hour rush.

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