The DNAinfo archives brought to you by WNYC.
Read the press release here.

Tamale Spaceship Closes Wicker Storefront, But Food Truck Going Strong

By Alisa Hauser | June 21, 2017 9:47am
 Tamale Spaceship has closed its storefront.
Tamale Spaceship has closed its storefront.
View Full Caption
Tamale Spaceship (left); DNAinfo/Alisa Hauser (right)

WICKER PARK —  Almost three years after opening its brick-and-mortar storefront, the Tamale Spaceship is closing to focus on its thriving catering business and summer food truck stops.

Co-owner Manny Hernandez said on Tuesday that construction on the building was the reason for the closure of the eatery at 1341 N. Damen Ave.

For the last several months, scaffolding has covered the building, obscuring the restaurant's sign, as well as the sign for a neighboring dry cleaners.

Hernandez did not respond to a question on whether the restaurant will reopen when the construction ends. The restaurant's kitchen is still being used for catering orders. Building owner George Tavoularis with Lincolnwood-based Claremont Holdings could not be reached for comment.

City records show a permit was issued last year to repair brick masonry on the south and west sides of the large building at Damen and Evergreen avenues.

The restaurant, which had a few tables inside as a well as on a side patio, opened in July 2014.

The city's longest-running food truck, Tamale Spaceship began Jan. 18, 2011, the brainchild of Hernandez and business partner Pepe Balanzar. Hernandez and Balanzar met in 2002 while working at Frontera Grill.

Balanzar drives the truck and is often known as the man behind the lucha libre mask while Hernandez works in the back office side of the business.

Andrew Jones, a Tamale Spaceship customer, was told of the closure in an email from the restaurant, which reached out to members of its Spring Rewards program Tuesday.

"The Tamale Spaceship is currently closed until further notice; therefore, we are ending our rewards program. Thank you so much for enrolling in the program, powered by Spring Rewards. We will still be sending out exclusive offers, invitations, and event announcements through Spring Rewards in the future, so keep an eye out. In the meantime, check out our social media accounts to follow our food truck, where you can still enjoy our food!" the email said.

Jones said he and his wife will miss the Tamale Spaceship.

"It's sad to see another quality restaurant close. We do hope to see them back some time soon," Jones said.