Wahoo's Fish Taco LoDo location dries up after almost twenty years

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The lights were on but no one was home last night at the Wahoo's Fish Taco at 1521 Blake Street, the first Colorado location opened by the California-based chain. "After 18 plus years, Wahoo's on Blake Street will be serving its last guest on Saturday, October 26," reads a sign on the door that directs would-be customers to Wahoo's Uptown at 225 East 20th Avenue.

See also: Downtown Rio Grande will land the Black Crow

That's one of ten still-open Wahoo's locations along the Front Range. Wahoo's has more than sixty other locations scattered across California, Nebraska, New York, Texas, Hawaii and Colorado.

Wahoo's was started by three brothers -- Wing Lam, Ed Lee and Mingo Lee -- who grew up on San Paolo, Brazil, where their parents had a Chinese restaurant, In 1975, the family moved to Orange County, California, where the boys' father opened the Shanghai Pine Garden Chinese restaurant on Balboa Island. Apparently restaurants were in their blood, because in 1988 the brothers opened a fish taco joint in Costa Mesta. But they gave this spot a twist, tossing Brazilian and Asian-inspired items on the menu, and decorating their restaurant with donations from nearby surf companies. That international influence and surf-inspired decor carries over today in all the Wahoo's locations.

And what's going to happen to that prime LoDo location, on what could be Denver's most restaurant-heavy block? We've got an idea. The flagship location of the Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant, a homegrown chain that got its start in Fort Collins in 1986, is right next door at 1525 Blake Street. Last year that Rio expanded in one direction, opening Black Crow, an "urban outdoor campground" with a big bar and tricked-out trailer serving food.

And the Rio has other tricks up its sleeve. It's rolling out a new, improved bar lineup (not to worry; the original margarita that accounts for 80 percent of the chain's alcohol sales will remain). And it's opened El Monte Grill & Lounge, a more upscale Mexican restaurant, at 1611 South College Avenue in Fort Collins, "conveniently located 2105 miles due North of Oaxaca, Mexico."

A LoDo location 2048 miles due north of Oaxaca might be even more convenient....


Location Info

Wahoo's Fish Taco - CLOSED

1521 Blake St., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

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40 comments
Celeste Melville
Celeste Melville

Yes, I went there often when I was closer, but not so much lately. Every time my daughter comes to town it was a pilgrimage. It was the first one in town and the lines used to go out the door and down the street. American Costume Company was right across the street. Both gone now. :(

Dan Brown
Dan Brown

There are only a few hours of the day I feel comfortable in LoDo anyway.

Heather Ashley Davis
Heather Ashley Davis

Haven't been to Texas. But I seriously doubt it makes us looks "pathetic". Your concern for comments and subsequent reply on a Facebook post are indicative of first world free-time, Mel.

Mel Ćurković
Mel Ćurković

There are too many great new joints around that area, it doesn't surprise me. Rio Grande's The Black Crow is right around there and it's got way better tacos.

Aaron Harmon
Aaron Harmon

Cali style? Fuck Cali, get over yourselves.

Grace SuperMom S
Grace SuperMom S

I agree. The people there were very nice. This was our favorite family spot to go to before every Rockies game we went to. Sad :(

Christine Kelly
Christine Kelly

There's a reason restaurants don't make it! Do everything you should and you will be around thirty plus years like many downtown restaurants.

Gabriel J. Gonzales
Gabriel J. Gonzales

Though wahoos will never have the true mexican flavor as some great East L.A. taquerias but the people that worked this place are truly nice people. I wish them all fortune and prosperity. Will miss you guys.

Craig Maybell
Craig Maybell

Seriously, I'd rather suffer from crabs than eat another crab enchilada. LMFAO

Craig Maybell
Craig Maybell

Both Midwest and Cali suck. When it comes to Mexican fare, Texas actually makes you all look pathetic.

Heather Ashley Davis
Heather Ashley Davis

Not a fan of the California style?? As opposed to the Mid-Western style with gross green chile over everything?! Wow. You do realize California has some of the best Mexican food in the US? Maybe not wahoo's per se... But, fuck.

John Paul Rojas
John Paul Rojas

Illegal Pete's has a pretty good California style fish burrito.

John Paul Rojas
John Paul Rojas

I like the one on 20th near uptown. The food there is ok. I'm not big on the California style but it's a great meet up place with cheap pre made margaritas.

Chris Winkler
Chris Winkler

The only fish taco I'll put in my mouth, doesn't taste like fish...

Jack Gormley
Jack Gormley

I watched the Broncos win their first Super Bowl there.

Brian Stout
Brian Stout

As long as Hampden stays open, I'm gold. Love wahoo's, man. Favorite margs ever paired with nachos with black beans and jalapeños!

Roy Hobbs
Roy Hobbs

saw that the other night..bummer

DanWinter
DanWinter

Interesting...any word on if they lost their lease?  Seemed like that location was always busy.

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