in 2017, Condado Tacos has quickly become one of the region’s most popular restaurants. Starting with its first location in Downtown Pittsburgh at the corner of Liberty Avenue and 10th Street, the Mexican-food joint served up tasty tacos, inventive dips, and popular margaritas. The Columbus, Ohio-based chain then expanded to Lawrenceville and South Hills Village, and soon it will be reaching even more parts of the Pittsburgh region with two new locations coming later this year.
Condado plans to open a new location in the city’s East Liberty neighborhood in August of this year, followed shortly by a new suburban location in Cranberry in September.
Chris Artinian, president and CEO of Condado Tacos, says Pittsburgh has really embraced the Condado brand, which is why the company feels confident that the expansion will be embraced.
“From a geographic location, Pittsburgh has been key to our success,” says Artinian. “This will be our fourth and fifth locations in Pittsburgh. We still believe there are other suburbs to expand to. We will be in the neighborhood for quite some time."
Condado is based in Columbus and has 29 restaurants located throughout the U.S. with a large concentration in Ohio, as well as spots in Michigan, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Pittsburgh. The expansion in Pittsburgh is part of a regional effort where Condado is adding 12-15 new locations across the country in 2022.
The new East Liberty location will be located at 6210 Penn Ave., right on the pedestrian plaza at the Eastside Bond development, across from the BrewDog brewpub. It will occupy 4,855 square feet with more than 200 total seats, which includes an indoor bar setting, and 34 outside patio seats. It is slated to open in August.
In September, a Condado Tacos will open in Cranberry in the The Streets of Cranberry mixed-retail center. The 4,000-square-foot restaurant will be located at 20430 Route 19 in Cranberry. It will have about 170 seats, including 34 outdoor patio seats.
Pittsburgh City Paper readers have voted Condado Best Taco in the annual Best of Pittsburgh issue three years in a row, as well as other awards. Artinian believes that Pittsburghers have taken to the restaurant's build-your-own taco model and enjoy the varying atmospheres at each location.
“I think Condado has broad appeal and uniqueness,” says Artinian. “The artwork is unique in each location. We design each place to make it feel like a local place. We don’t want this to feel like ‘just another taco chain.’”
Condado adjusted to the pandemic well, and Artinian feels fortunate that Condado’s take-out business picked up during the shutdowns. He believes Pittsburgh customers have responded to Condado’s “speed and convenience,” and notes that if customers choose, they can get in and out of the restaurant between 12-15 minutes, not to mention quick take-out orders.
Before running Condado, Artinian had experience running the Morton’s The Steakhouse and Smokey Bones chains. He is excited at seeing Condado expand and believes Pittsburgh will see even more locations beyond the new spots in East Liberty and Cranberry.
“I’ve been doing this for 30-plus years,” says Artinian. “Pittsburgh has always been a market well served for restaurants. Building from Downtown and out to the burbs, we can easily see three to five more locations in the area as we build out. We love the community. We seem to work there.”
Condado Tacos. Multiple locations. condadotacos.com