What started as a pop-up will now be a brick and mortar concept. Industry veteran, Restaurateur Jeff Newman recently announced the opening of Hi-Lo Taco (Hi-Lo), an American-style taco bar touting crunchy-shell and handmade flour tortilla tacos with smoked meats, house-made salsas and locally-sourced produce. Hi-Lo Taco will open mid-Fall 2023 in Center City’s Midtown Village neighborhood at 1109 Walnut Street.
Hi-Lo’s dining room will feature a hybrid service model that favors a QR code ordering platform over traditional table service “to create an efficient, yet attentive dining experience,” the company states.
“The concept is simple,” begins Jeff Newman, Restaurateur and Chef-owner of Hi-Lo. “A fun America-style Taco Bar centered around our handmade flour tortillas and smoker where Philadelphian’s can come as they are, kick back and stay awhile while enjoying Ranch Water,
Margaritas or local beer. Our entire menu is hand-made and made-to order with flavors (almost) too good to share.”
Newman spent 18 years cooking and consulting for some of the food world’s most notable kitchens and hospitality groups, opening seven (7) restaurants under Batali and Bastianich Hospitality, holding leadership roles in Michelin star kitchens under Nancy Silverton and Michael Tusk, consulting for 60+ food brands at The Culinary Edge and serving as Founding Culinary Director of Starbird Chicken where Newman grew the brand to six operating locations.
In 2020, Newman found a home in Philadelphia and has been operating Hi-Lo as a series of popups since. Hi-Lo’s brick & mortar space serves as an extension of Hi-Lo Taco’s pop-up series, where breakfast tacos on homemade flour tortillas stole the show.
“I’m grateful for the local community and loyal Hi-Lo fans I’ve cultivated through my popups and can’t wait to welcome them into the reimagined Hi-Lo space. While we deeply miss our Fishtown roots, we’re excited to bring Hi-Lo fully to life in Midtown Village with a full bar and menu that goes beyond our breakfast tacos. For those who haven’t tasted our handmade flour tortillas yet, you’re in for a treat,” continues Newman.
Newman has hired Leah Haimowitz as Hi-Lo Taco’s General Manager to operate the concept day- to-day. A California native, Leah holds a credentialed background with positions at some of California’s top restaurants. In Philadelphia, she most recently served as General Manager at TheOlde Bar.
To celebrate the impending opening and to give the neighborhood a preview taste, Hi-Lo is partnering with local coffee shop Thank You Thank You Coffee Brewers (700 Sansom St.) for one last taco pop-up on National Taco Day (Wednesday, 10/4). Hi-Lo will be selling close to 300 breakfast tacos, alongside coffee from Thank You Thank You, from 8:30am until sell-out. All breakfast tacos come with scrambled PA eggs and Abundantly Good cheese on a hand-made flour tortilla plus your choice of:
• Pit Smoked Burnt Ends – $6.00 / taco
• Bacon + Refried Beans – $4.50 / taco
• Chorizo + Potato – $4.50 / taco
• Corn + Poblano + Mushroom – $4.50 / taco
Hi-Lo will have a limited selection of corn tortilla tacos available as well.