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Taco Diablo Owners Hope to Rebuild After Fire

After a fire blazed through the Davis Street restaurant and two other downtown businesses, owner Daniel Kelch says he hopes to reopen the popular Mexican spot.

Less than a week after a  fire ravaged Taco Diablo and two other downtown Evanston businesses, the owners of the popular Mexican spot say they hope to eventually reopen. 

The blaze broke out around 2 a.m. Sunday at Pine Yard Restaurant, 1033 Davis St., then spread to Taco Diablo and TechniColour Nail & Day Spa. Firefighters battled the blaze for nearly five hours before it was extinguished, city officials said.

Daniel Kelch, who owns Taco Diablo at 1029 Davis St. along with his wife, Karen Van Dorf, says he is waiting for more information from his insurance and on the fire department’s investigation into the cause of the blaze. 

Based on an initial investigation, firefighters believe the blaze was caused by an electrical or mechanical issue in the kitchen at Pine Yard. They say the building housing all three establishments will need to be demolished.

“By end of next week, some further clarity should be developing,” Kelch wrote in an e-mail to Patch. “In the end, we want to rebuild if we can.” 

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Kelch and Van Dorf also posted a note on Taco Diablo’s Facebook page thanking community members for their support and promising to do everything in their power to reopen the business. They also said they may decide to reopen Lulu’s, a 21-year Evanston staple that Kelch announced he was closing in January

“We are in a state of shock, it's very surreal and has left us stunned,” Kelch and Van Dorf posted on Facebook. “One thing that has been so amazing and is helping us cope is the outpouring of support from the community. Reinforces our decision from long ago to locate here, live here, raise a family here and open our businesses here.

I cannot thank everybody enough, from all 5 fire departments that worked to contain this fire from effecting even more people and businesses to every individual comment, email and text that we have received. We are truly grateful. 

We're going to gather our wits and figure out what our next steps will be, but be assured we are going to make every effort to rebuild and reopen Taco Diablo again. In fact, I now see no reason not to do LuLu's 3.0 also. The outpouring of support has been motivation for staying even more involved in this community. 

Thank you all so much, we truly do appreciate all your support and encouragement. It has been a shining light during a dark night.

Dan & Laura, all of us at Taco D and LuLu's.” 

Karen January 02, 2014 at 10:27 PM
So glad to hear that you will rebuild Diablo and even keep LuLu's open. Two Evanston favorites we are so lucky to have! So nice to see such spirit in the wake of such an event. Best of luck!
Festus McMoron January 03, 2014 at 07:19 AM
why not call it diablo lulu??

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