Auto repair shops transforms into a booming taco stand by night
In Mexico City, one business is functioning differently, by juggling multiple operations at once.
CGTN’s Alasdair Baverstock reports business success often comes down to finding your niche.
An auto mechanic’s workshop in Mexico City, comes complete with hydraulic lifts, transmission changes and car wax.
But if one looks more closely, some things might appear out of place.
At 7 P.M., the shop closes for business, and an hour later, reopens as a taco stand, and one of Mexico City’s most popular at that.
“For people who come for the first time, it can be very strange that this place is a car mechanic’s in the day, and a taco stand at night,” said Ismael Tilosa, manager of El Vilsito. “It’s strange, but very interesting. But the people who come regularly, it’s the flavor that keeps them coming back.”
Located in La Narvarte district, El Vilsito has been in business for 33 years.
The stand serves a Mexico City staple, tacos al pastor, marinated pork stacked shawarma-style, grilled, and then eaten in a corn tortilla. People come from across the capital to eat here.
“It’s the simplicity of the place. You show up, hang out beside the grill, and eat where you stand. And the sauce they make here, for me, it’s the best in all of Mexico,” said El Vilsito customer Alberto Salazar.
Today, the shop’s fame has spread, and the operation has expanded to accommodate the demand. The profits have allowed the owners to open two more formal restaurants close by.
Nicolas Garcia is a Mexico City food tour guide, and for his clients, this is an unmissable stop.
“It’s the type of dining that Mexican people love. Instead of going to a restaurant and sitting down, people love eating tacos like this, on the streets. And it’s very common that popular businesses start like this; it’s a family thing, somebody starts serving a good dish, and word starts to spread until it becomes like this, a successful business,” said Garcia.
The owners here at Mexico City’s transforming shopfront say that while the success of their business has been boosted by the novelty of the enterprise, it’s the quality of the service in both operations that guarantees their financial future.