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'We are down but not out': Locura Small Bites, known for creative elote, in search of new location

Locura Small Bites will close its West Dallas location on April 17.
Credit: Locura Small Bites

DALLAS — A year after opening their dream business, the owners of Locura Small Bites are looking for a new home. Their landlord decided not to continue the lease and issued a notice to vacate.

Locura Small Bites will close its doors in West Dallas on Saturday, but co-owners Laura Carrizales and Mel Arizpe say they have already begun the search for a new location. Locura will continue to operate through the search, with pop-ups planned through the month of September.

Carrizales and Arizpe opened their small business a month before the pandemic began.

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“We were just getting started, we were just establishing ourselves,” said Carrizales, the chef of Locura Small Bites.

Like most businesses, the owners of Locura Small Bites said they suffered hardships during the pandemic and were unable to get government assistance.

“We’ve just been treading water,” said Carrizales. “This whole time we’ve been trying to hold on.”

Despite their difficulties, Arizpe and Carrizales made a name for themselves in West Dallas and beyond the neighborhood. The restaurant offers traditional Mexican appetizers like elotes, a take on corn on the cob, and adds a spin to it. Foodies will find a wide range of elotes at Locura Small Bites, from the elote with lime, mayo, sour cream, cotija and chili powder to a strawberry Thai chili corn on the cob.

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Carrizales takes pride in the fact that the dishes and flavors offered at Locura will not be found anywhere else.

“The idea was to take a regular elote and push it as far as you can, to take it to all ends of the globe,” she explained.

Locura has become a part of the community. The restaurant partnered with the Wesley-Rankin Community Center for a Taste of West Dallas and with a local artist for a Christmas drive-thru event. Councilmember Omar Narvaez has also promoted the small business.  

“Businesses help the local community and the local community helps businesses, and it’s all to work towards one goal: to better the neighborhood,” Carrizales said.

Many of the customers have told the co-owners they found their restaurant by word-of-mouth or social media.

Reviews on Facebook attest to the unique flavors that result in their dishes. 

One person wrote, “Everything we tried was delicious and gourmet. I was excited to try all the crazy flavors! Out of the box. You can’t get these elote options anywhere else.”

With just days left at their 839 Singleton Boulevard location, Locura's owners are hoping they don't lose momentum or the clients they have gained. The co-owners are scouting locations in Dallas, Carrollton and the surrounding area, but would love to stay nearby.

“We are down but we are not out,” said Carrizales.

The chef said though she prefers a brick-and-mortar location, she does not discount the idea of getting a food truck. Carrizales tells WFAA if she has to, she will set up a table on the side of road to sell her dishes. She does not plan to give up.

"We've established our brand and our presence in Dallas," she said.  

For those unable to make it to the restaurant before it closes its doors, Locura will take part in the Siempre Selena event on Sunday at Round-up Saloon in Dallas.

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