Stehling opened the first Taco Cabana at the corner of San Pedro and Hildebrand streets in San Antonio in 1978. The place became known because customers would place their order inside and then take a seat outdoors on the verdant patio, which prompted the name “The Original Mexican Patio Cafe.”
“All of us at Taco Cabana are saddened with the passing of our founder Felix Stehling and wish to express our sincere condolences to the Stehling family,” said Todd Coerver, interim chief operating officer at Taco Cabana. “Felix ignited what would soon become a Texas icon when he opened a small taco stand at the corner of San Pedro and Hildebrand in San Antonio. Felix has given generations a comfortable place for family and friends to gather and his legacy lives on through the 162 locations and over 4,300 people that make up the Taco Cabana family. We are forever thankful for the man that started it all.”
“As we enter our 35th year, our guests will experience our commitment to the original recipes and service values that were the unique vision of Felix,” said Tim Taft, President and CEO of Fiesta Restaurant Group, Inc.
That’s sad news for those of us who have loaded up on Taco Cabana chorizo and egg tacos at 3 a.m. and have been grateful to have someplace open at that hour, a restaurant that offers hot food at a great price. Or those of us who have had group breakfast meetings before heading off to work.
Back when it was legal for passengers to ride in cars with an open container, Taco Cabana was the place to fill up on drive-thru margaritas. So, the next time you’re having a happy hour pitcher of margaritas at Taco Cabana, lift a mug to Stehling’s memory.