West Seattle food: Beloved Mexico shuts down, cites competition

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

One day after people started asking us about the disappearance of the Beloved Mexico food truck – a five-year fixture along Fauntleroy just south of Alaska, next to West Seattle Produce – we’ve found out what’s going on: It’s closed forever.

That’s what co-proprietor Christian Guerrero just told us when we reached him by phone at home in West Seattle: “We decided to shut down the doors, just yesterday. We’re really sad to shut down, but we just weren’t making enough.”

Unprompted, he cited competition, in particular, Chipotle Mexican Grill, which opened in The Junction less than two months ago (and is currently closed along with the company’s 42 other Washington and Oregon stores because of E. coli illnesses). “We don’t have the buying power of multi-million dollar companies.”

Another factor, Guerrero said: They would eventually lose their spot, since a CVS drugstore is slated to be built there, and a permanent spot for a food truck is hard to find in West Seattle.

He says they’re sad about closing and they appreciate the following they had, but financially, they had no choice. They had hoped it would someday lead to expansion into a permanent restaurant location, but that didn’t happen, and they’re not expecting to be able to open one. He and his co-proprietor brother have always had “day jobs” and that’s what they’ll be focusing on now. It’s been five years since Beloved Mexico opened – originally on the other side of Fauntleroy, as was WS Produce, on the site where The Whittaker is now being built; both moved across the street a year later.

Toward the end of our conversation, Guerrero told us he hopes West Seattleites will step up their support for the remaining small independent businesses – “to keep the flavor of West Seattle alive.”

60 Replies to "West Seattle food: Beloved Mexico shuts down, cites competition"

  • cjboffoli November 5, 2015 (2:46 pm)

    As much as people endlessly bemoan our community’s increasing density, it is foot traffic that keeps small businesses like this alive. The peculiarities of our climate, our lack of a concentration of population (versus that of other cities), and our affinity for cars – and expectations about easy parking – can make it a challenge for food small businesses like this, especially in the Triangle, an area that is still primarily oriented toward the movement of vehicles and not pedestrians.

  • datamuse November 5, 2015 (2:48 pm)

    That’s too bad. I only went there a couple of times but they were pretty good.

  • dhg November 5, 2015 (2:50 pm)

    Noooooooo. I love Beloved Mexico. I always hoped they would open a regular restaurant. I know business must slow down in the wet and cold months so having an indoor spot would be sweet. Think about it, Christian. I’d love to see you make this happen. We love your mother’s mole!

  • Azimuth November 5, 2015 (3:00 pm)

    You’re right on the money cjboffoli. Personally, I’d love to see a cool, relaxed, pedestiran-friendly, European-style town square setup in the Junction/Triangle area. There could be space set aside for vendors like beloved Mexico. As long as it was close to other stuff going on and businesses and residences, it would be used.

    • WSB November 5, 2015 (3:18 pm)

      The Junction Neighborhood Organization lobbied for the CVS site to include plaza space with room for a food truck. Checking the city report on the 2nd meeting in June – it has a “pocket park” type space included, though no specific mentions of food-truck space. The CVS project still needs at least one more design review meeting, and there’s no date for it yet, so construction is not imminent (in case anyone was wondering). – TR

  • squareeyes November 5, 2015 (3:07 pm)

    This is sad. Sorry to see you go Beloved. I’ll miss your tortas.

  • Kolby November 5, 2015 (3:08 pm)

    Anyone know where I can get contact info, interested in buying the truck

  • JanS November 5, 2015 (3:17 pm)

    I’m in Admiral, and I almost never go to the Triangle area where they were located. FRankly, because the business was so small, I didn’t even realize that that was the location. I wish there was someway that all the food trucks in WS could be listed, so we know hours, location, prices, menu, location, etc. And if other business in the area have extra space, consider having a food truck like this as a neighbor (meaning, don’t make the rent so high they can’t survive). I’d love to see more food trucks in the main business area. It just doesn’t happen because…downtown. Even West Seattle owner of Tat’s doesn’t bring his food truck here, but sticks to where the big businesses are, Sodo, SLU, etc…

  • KP November 5, 2015 (3:23 pm)

    Damn, damn, damn. Loved their quesadillas. Went there a couple of times a month for years.

  • Eric1 November 5, 2015 (3:33 pm)

    Sad to see it go. Christian is right that if you like the “West Seattle” feel, you should patronize the local establishments. Otherwise you will just have chain businesses everywhere. It isn’t an excuse for mediocrity by locals but if you have the choice, choose local.

  • Chris November 5, 2015 (3:35 pm)

    JanS – what you’re asking for exists here: http://www.seattlefoodtruck.com/

    Totally agree on the walkability related comments. More foot traffic would certainly have helped, but, sounds like CVS was the ultimate culprit here.

    • WSB November 5, 2015 (3:50 pm)

      Chris – That site unfortunately (which I was looking at earlier in relation to a different reader inquiry) does not appear to have been updated in a while (its operators live in this area, I need to find the contact info and see what’s up!). And the schedule for West Seattle isn’t current, anyway. Keeping up with food trucks is a full-time job. Some individual ones do a good job of sending out their schedule via Twitter, sometimes Facebook, but it can change on a whim. Beloved Mexico was in our restaurant directory because it had been a fixture for so many years, it seemed a safe bet it wouldn’t be changing daily or weekly or something else that would catch us by surprise. Anyway, El Rey del Taco (SW Orchard/Sylvan north of Home Depot) and Taqueria el Antojo (at the gas station north of Lincoln Park) are now the remaining two “permanent” food trucks; Thai-U-Up is often at the gas station across from Roxhill Elementary but does change its schedule without notice – its twitter account is usually updated http://twitter.com/thaiuup – Falafel Salam is now a fixture on the north end of the West Seattle Farmers’ Market on Sundays. Otherwise – there are visits here and there, sometimes at Beveridge Place, sometimes by West Seattle Brewing – there was an attempt for a while to get some trucks regularly by West Seattle Corporate Center (HQ of Bartell Drugs, Metro Market, etc.) but that fizzled for lack of business … TR

  • Boz Hobbs November 5, 2015 (3:38 pm)

    As a former West Seattleite, my advice is to Craigslist your vehicle in the Reno version of the service or drive it on down and find your greeting will be warm and friendly. Food trucks, esp. those with some class, are really big here since the curbside vendor ordinances were recently changed.

  • Sue November 5, 2015 (3:42 pm)

    I used to go there a lot when I lived a few blocks south on Fauntleroy – it was easy to pass by when getting off the bus. After I moved, even though I’m about equal distance away, I just don’t walk that way anymore, so it was easy to forget about, unfortunately. I am sorry to hear about this though, as I know it was popular.

  • Txsierra November 5, 2015 (3:43 pm)

    CVS was initially very supportive of finding a spot for Beloved Mexico, but not sure if that changed after the first DRB when they had to move and redesign the building. I didn’t attend the second DRB meeting but it sounds like it was still included. I am sad for the owners but they struggled initially and were even profiled on KUOW so blaming redevelopment at a site that is probably a year away seems a bit of a stretch.

  • OP November 5, 2015 (3:58 pm)

    Thanks to my boys’ penchant for Beloved’s kids’ burritos, we were regular, weekly customers. We even tried to stop by last night to pick some up. They’ll be sad to learn of its fate.

    FWIW, I doubt Chipotle’s short-term residence had much to do with BM’s demise. Location and accessibility were likely the real culprits.

  • onion November 5, 2015 (4:30 pm)

    Another terrific inexpensive food option bites the dust. I loved Beloved Mexico’s food, but think BM should have found a better location a long time ago. Now the best Mexican options in West Seattle are Guayamas in the Junction or the food truck near the Home Depot on Delridge — and after that it’s White Center. (But I still have to try the food truck near the north end of Lincoln Park to see whether they are a good option.) Best wishes to Christian and his family.

  • West Seattle Hispter November 5, 2015 (4:35 pm)

    In reading the article, the owner states the reason for the demise of Beloved Mexico was competition. So I find it amusing that folks are blaming it on those evil cars.

    .

    Perhaps they just didn’t have enough customers? Maybe not repeat enough customers?

  • Eli November 5, 2015 (4:56 pm)

    A shame. While I doubt Chipotle took an enormous amount of business, when you’re a small food truck, every little bit counts. I wonder if they’d consider biding their time until that new apartment complex across the street is finished, that would provide a huge influx of customers. There are enough small businesses in the area with parking that I’m sure would be open to negotiate parking with them.

  • CMP November 5, 2015 (5:00 pm)

    Beloved Mexico made a great carnitas burrito. We frequented it often this past year, maybe too much for my fiance’s liking! I’m sad to see them close, but wish the owners the best with their day jobs. You’ll be missed!

  • MoreTacosPorFavor November 5, 2015 (5:11 pm)

    Noooooo noooooo noooooo noooooo!!
    :'( :'( :'(

  • Jeanie November 5, 2015 (5:14 pm)

    I never had trouble finding parking for Beloved Mexico, but, yes, it’s sad to see the lines for Chipotle, which is/was OK food, but nothing special. Good if you’re on the road and there’s noplace else except McDonalds or Taco Bell. I never went to the West Seattle E-Colipotle, but it always looked busy when I walked or drove past. I wonder if there will be long-lasting damage because of the E-coli mess.

  • Paul November 5, 2015 (5:28 pm)

    Terrible news – that was a great place. I hope West Seattle Produce stays; we love going there. The last thing WS needs is another chain drugstore!

  • Villagegreen November 5, 2015 (5:34 pm)

    Was just driving by the other day and thought BM’s foot traffic business should really increase once the new buildings are completed. I live near the north end of the Triangle, but honestly don’t find myself walking by there often. If I’m walking to the Junction I usually walk up to California and then south. Walking along Fauntleroy in the Triangle is about as pleasant as walking the tarmac at SeaTac.

  • cjboffoli November 5, 2015 (5:41 pm)

    Eli: It is not just a parking space. The law requires food trucks to have access to a hard plumbed bathroom for its employees while it is operating.

  • wsn00b November 5, 2015 (5:51 pm)

    The location for the truck was bad. No foot traffic like others said. Food trucks thrive in dense downtown Seattle. Once West Seattle gets properly dense try again please.

  • Foodie bob November 5, 2015 (5:55 pm)

    I remember their opening…great food FRIENDLY convenient.. Just returned from a visit to Tucson…they would do great there…. now there is a town that appreciates small business….I moved away from WS…GLAD I DID…all the great reasons for living there are just about gone…except the view…

  • wb November 5, 2015 (6:02 pm)

    This is a shock. I ate there every Friday. Quality food, and the lady who took care of me always knew I was getting carnitas enchiladas with rice and beans each and every time.

    I was hoping all the construction workers going there was keeping it going until it got to the next level, but I know restaurants are a fickle business. I hope, Christian, that you land somewhere else.

    Heartbroken, and god bless.

  • Becky November 5, 2015 (6:19 pm)

    Such sad news! We loved their food and visited often. I think they would have done better in another location with more foot traffic. I hope they consider re-opening one day in a better spot. It truly was the best Mexican food in West Seattle.

  • aa November 5, 2015 (6:20 pm)

    Sorry for the business owners who put their hard work and money into their truck. I doubt it was Chipotle, they just weren’t in a good spot to get enough customers.

    I really don’t understand how Chipotle market research thought it was a good idea to open a store in a 2block radius of four other Mexican restaurants. If you are looking for a good Mexican meal my suggestion is Pecado Bueno. Fresh food, friendly staff, free parking in back.
    Just because Guaymas is small and funky doesn’t mean it isn’t a chain.

  • Maris November 5, 2015 (6:29 pm)

    Sorry to see them go. Yes-the carnitas burrito was a favorite of mine too!
    There is another food truck serving Mexican food. It is at the gas station on Fauntleroy at the north end of Lincoln Park.

  • Matt November 5, 2015 (6:38 pm)

    Dang, their potato and chorizo quesadillas were delicious! It’s a shame they didn’t hold out until more of the big apartment complexes nearby were more populated…I’m sure foot traffic would have improved pretty quickly with all the people coming home off that Rapid Ride stop :(

  • Robyn November 5, 2015 (7:43 pm)

    Noooo! Beloved Mexico is a family favorite. I’m so sad to see them go. Great food and wonderful people.

  • D-Mom November 5, 2015 (9:45 pm)

    Dang, I knew this was coming with all the surrounding development. Such great food! Development might bring more foot traffic, but it also brings corporate chains like Chipotle and Starbucks (which had the gall to move in right across from Cupcake Royale). I hate seeing what the junction is turning into.

  • KBear November 5, 2015 (9:58 pm)

    Aa, if you’re going to call Taqueria Guaymas a chain, then so is Pecado Bueno. Taqueria Guaymas’ food is cheaper, more authentic, and its name is grammatically correct.

  • Steve November 5, 2015 (10:32 pm)

    Geez, once those apartments get filled up, there will be hordes of people crossing the street. Too bad they couldn’t hold out just a bit longer. Maybe they could’ve moved by the bowling alley or something? Too bad. I guess I’ll be off to Rat City for my Taco fix. La Fondita isn’t too bad if you don’t mind people asking you for money. OR, Portrillos #2 in Burien on 1st Ave is pretty good, but kinda acting “uptown” since they raised their tacos to $1.10 Oh well, my rent has gone up too, why not tacos? That does it! I’m gonna go out right now and get some.

  • Martha November 5, 2015 (10:36 pm)

    @Foodie Bob–“I moved away from WS…GLAD I DID…”

    Yet you still troll the WSB like you don’t… Unreal.

  • Biggfoot611 November 6, 2015 (6:52 am)

    There is a great food truck called Nibbles roaming around West Seattle, they are a southwest fusion truck & they are really delicious. I had there smoked meatloaf sandwich at beverage place pub omg so good. Talked with the owners and they live in WS, planing to grow over here! Small businesses must be supported look them up! Nibblesseattle.com

  • Dragonfly November 6, 2015 (7:54 am)

    I’m tired of people’s attitudes about cars. We live in a city that does not have adequate public transportation. We are not set up to be a cute European hamlet with a federally subsidized train system. It’s very hilly here. Not everyone can show up to the office smelling like a wet dog after riding our bike to work.

    I’d love to live like you dream but the reality is that employers require travel, long hours and are not concentrated in areas that are always easily accessed by bus or bike.

    Stop the demonization of the car and start electing people that care about public transportation. Elect people that don’t allow builders to build buildings without parking.

  • clauren November 6, 2015 (8:06 am)

    We run a truck and know how tough it can be, it takes so much more time to prep food off site, transport, take care of mechanical issues, etc – it’s tough! And also the fact that bad weather can equate to a slow day when you really needed the business. We’re sorry you had to make the tough decision to close, we shared the commercial kitchen space with you for a brief time and saw the love and dedication you put into your business. Thanks for sticking it out as long as you did – we loved your burritos too! Best wishes.

  • cratewasher November 6, 2015 (8:07 am)

    Hey Urbanists, this is what your ramped up development dreams actually look like.
    Your “density” justifications for unchecked growth are really just gentrification without protections for existing residents or businesses.
    Soon, only national corporate chains will be able to afford to run businesses in the core.

  • cratewasher November 6, 2015 (8:11 am)

    Oh good, another corporate pharmacy….
    This is the Urbanist’s vision for your community – one Shannon Braddock will be more than happy to accommodate (keep your eye on her if she wins, West Seattle).
    Unchecked growth without protections for existing residents and small business will lead to the corporatization of our neighborhood cores.
    It will not bring affordability and diversity, but more monoculture and soullessness.

  • JoAnne November 6, 2015 (8:26 am)

    Dragonfly,
    THANK YOU!
    JoAnne

  • Nancy Native November 6, 2015 (8:56 am)

    Beloved Mexico–please take a break and COME BACK!

  • Wes C. Addle November 6, 2015 (8:59 am)

    @aa It’s smart market research by Chipotle. Move your Mexican restaurant near other Mexican restaurants and take their business. Seems to work well for Starbucks when they open right next to a Tully’s or a Cupcake Royale for example.

  • Robert Greene November 6, 2015 (9:38 am)

    I’m devastated. My fat kid lifestyle isn’t possible anymore in West Seattle. I’m thinking of moving to Portland over this. If you see someone with a sign that says “More taco bells & less hippy crap”, thats me.

  • Mary S November 6, 2015 (10:25 am)

    We will really miss you guys; we were regulars. Naida always loved saying hi to our two giant dogs. Now where will we go for our favorite chicken burritos? : (

  • Conrad November 6, 2015 (11:08 am)

    Was a regular customer… Really sad to see it go. Why would you go to Taco Del Mar or Chipotle when you can get a better burrito for the same price there? The foot traffic is challenging there, especially with the construction sidewalk closures.

  • Lynnette J. November 6, 2015 (1:43 pm)

    THIS MAKES ME SO SAD.

    :(

  • 2 Much Whine November 6, 2015 (1:43 pm)

    I have always loved Mexico and considered it “beloved” as well. I guess now that it is gone Mr. Trump doesn’t have much to talk about. Man, that hurricane must have been worse than I thought – didn’t read anything about it going away in the Seattle Times. . . . .

  • Brian November 6, 2015 (1:48 pm)

    Que lastima!

  • RJB November 6, 2015 (3:29 pm)

    NO…..so sad.

  • Jim November 6, 2015 (6:29 pm)

    It seems to me that people who like good food don’t eat at Chipotle so the overlap with Beloved Mexico’s customer base is relatively small. There must’ve been something else supressing traffic at Beloved Mexico.

  • Carol November 6, 2015 (7:08 pm)

    There is another Mexican truck at the 76 station by Lincoln Patk that is quite good, still sorry to see BM go.

  • 22blades November 7, 2015 (4:05 pm)

    i believe that what lies here is a bigger problem. The ecconomics of Seattle is now favored towards the “large national” chains like Chipotle. It just isn’t feasible to have a sustaining business model for a local, neighborhood business. The large chains are not just restaurants but they are investment vehicles with a vested interest in real estate & supply chain contracts. Until OUR local goverment including the building & health department are truly committed to serve OUR local business community, our money & vested interest heads out of town. There should be an environment for real, neighborhood owned brick & mortar restaurants. The “food truck renaissance” is a band-aid hiding a fundamental flaw in our local economy.

  • aa November 7, 2015 (6:33 pm)

    Instead of always blaming corporations, how about thinking how WE can support local businesses by changing our thinking from searching for the cheap food. Not drive thru cheap but “I like this Mexican rest because they’re cheaper” As the cost of ingredients increases, wages, rent, etc increases, we as customers need to support these businesses or else they go away and the chain comes in because they buy in larger quantities at a lower cost so they can pass that lower cost on by offering cheaper food. Yes the small businesses burger may cost more, and if you want that small business to stay, you have to buy it. And while I’m here…think about how the food you buy is prepared and ask questions wherever you are! Those pre-made salads at PCC, do you know if they wash those mixed greens/lettuces or are they put straight from the bag? Unwashed produce in a store you like is no different than at Chipotle. And here’s one more I’ve just started, sorry workers for how long it took me to get it, I have stopped using the self check out at grocery stores. Those are taking people’s jobs! It’s worth it to me to wait in line if it helps someone keep their job.

  • 22blades November 7, 2015 (8:15 pm)

    “As the cost of ingredients increases, wages, rent, etc increases,”

    Ingredients is the least of their concern. Unsustainable levels of rent only serve the commercial real estate and construction industry. They could care less if your business makes it or not. They’ll have another one lined up… until the market tanks from an excess of supply. Then they’ll come running to you for relief. The term “sustainability” is bandied about like some snake oil but has little substance behind it. In the end, “large corporation” absentee landlords do pose a threat to your neighborhood. “Landlords” include companies with a face of a restaurant.

    I agree about the self-check out lines. I rarely use them. The QFC on Capitol Hill actually reduced the number of them either by customer reaction, economics or theft concerns.

  • cj November 9, 2015 (12:29 pm)

    I think the city needs a hand full of food court areas where several can park at once and get the electricity and water they need.

  • Tom November 14, 2015 (10:42 am)

    What the hell do we need a CVS for? We’ve got a Walgreens and a Rite-Aid within spitting distance of each other. Not to mention another CVS within about 5 miles of that site. And holy crap, if people are eating at frigging CHIPOTLE instead of their local place, maybe we didn’t deserve Beloved Mexico.

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