Nico's Taco & Tequila Bar is moving into the old Muffuletta space

The space will be reborn this fall.

The space will be reborn this fall. Rick Nelson, Star Tribune

St. Paul lost an institution (and one of the best patios around) when the beloved Muffuletta bowed out last year after a four-decade run. 

Co-owners Phil Roberts and Pete Mihajlov took a look-on-the-bright-side approach to shuttering their quirky neighborhood favorite, with Roberts telling the Strib: "Hopefully a new generation will come along and take our place. Some young Turk who wants to put their name on the door and give it a shot. But for us, it's just time."

Now, we know just who said young Turks will be: The team behind Nico's Taco & Tequila Bar, who opened a Minneapolis location in Uptown in 2013.

A sharp-eyed CP staffer saw them slinging tacos (and ordered some, obviously) outside the Como Avenue building during St. Anthony Park's Fourth of July parade; this Facebook post confirms that they're moving in later this year:

Nico's seems fitting to fill Muff's shoes, as the first location is itself a quirky, colorful, cozy hang with a charming little streetside patio. It also, in all likelihood, won't be anything like its wine-by-candlelight predecessor—Nico's boasts a mean-ass tequila list (and was this year's CP pick for the best margarita in town), with a menu that's less Euro bistro, more street taco.

According to a comment on that post from co-owner Jenna Victoria, Nico's 2.0 should open this fall. (Potentially after all the Como Avenue construction clears up out front?) 

We've reached out to the restaurant and will update with more info as we have it.

Nico's Taco & Tequila Bar
2260 Como Ave., St. Paul