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Flash Taco to Unveil 'Brand New Look' with Taco Bar, DJ Booth, More

By Alisa Hauser | May 10, 2013 10:10am
 Flash Taco at 1570 N. Damen Ave. in Wicker Park plans to close Monday for a week or two of renovations and will reopen Memorial Day weekend with "a brand new look," according to owner Ulyssses Salamanca.
Flash Taco in Wicker Park to Remodel
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WICKER PARK — On the heels of its 15th year anniversary, a late-night taco joint in Wicker Park is getting "a brand new look," according to its owner.

On Monday, Flash Taco at 1570 N. Damen Ave. will close for at least a week to complete renovations that will bring extensive changes to the 800-square-foot space that's long served as a late-night destination for those craving burritos and tacos.

But have no fear, tacos will still be available during the temporary closure.

During the remodeling, customers can continue to buy food downstairs in a basement restaurant space adjacent to Flash Taco, said owner Ulysses Salamanca, 44.

Among the most notable changes to Flash will be a new sign outside the restaurant.

Salamanca said he tapped local mural artist Scott Jackson to create the sign, which will feature a mosaic tile background, red lettering and white neon lights accenting the "Flash Taco" name.

"It'll stick out, you can't miss it," Salamanca said.

The biggest change to the inside of the restaurant will be a DJ booth, Salamanca said.

The booth — carved out of the top of a 17-foot ceiling and overlooking the first floor — will enable guest DJs to offer music five nights each week during the summer, Salamanca said.

Flash Taco is open until 5 a.m. Monday through Thursday; 6 a.m on Fridays and Saturday and 4 a.m. Sunday, according to its website.

In addition to the DJ booth, paper mache Lucha Libre masks associated with popular Mexican wrestling stars El Santo and Blue Demon will cover just-installed recessed ceiling lighting, Salamanca said.

New flat-screen TVs, metal flooring, high wooden walls and the installation of "a taco bar" facing Damen Avenue are in the works as well.

The menu is getting an overhaul as well.

The current menu, which includes about 40 items, will be reduced "by half," Salamanca said, adding that "more veggie options" will be available. 

After Flash Taco reopens, Salamanca said the next project will be introducing a new restaurant concept in the basement by the Fourth of July.

The basement kitchen was most recently home to Heat, a gourmet sausage and wild game fast food restaurant which closed last year.