Pepito's in Minnepolis is staying Mexican, with acclaimed El Burrito Mercado taking over

The Chicago Avenue spot closed down at the end of last year.

After the sad closure of Pepito's in December after 46 years in south Minneapolis, there is good news for Mexican food fans.

Acclaimed St. Paul restaurant and Mexican supermarket, El Burrito Mercado, will be taking over the Pepito's space at Chicago and 48th this coming spring.

On the El Burrito Facebook page, the Silva family says it's planning some "cosmetic upgrades to the restaurant" but still plans to keep it as family dining.

It's also preparing for live music and events, as well as a "mini deli area with grab 'n' go items" – including its mouthwatering corn chips.

CityPages reports that Pepito's and the adjacent Parkway Theater have been bought by investor Ward Johnson and business partner Eddie Landenberger, who intend to "restore the Parkway Theater to its former glory."

They're promising "renovation, curated movie and speaker series, contemporary chamber music, and more," CityPages notes.

Pepito's closed on New Year's Eve after a difficult few years for owner Joe Minjares who has been battling pulmonary fibrosis since 2011. Mounting medical bills and other financial burdens piled up, putting stress on his life situation and the restaurant.

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