Chicken Out

Pollo Tropical says adios Texas and closes San Antonio restaurants

Pollo Tropical says adios Texas and closes San Antonio restaurants

Chicken at Pollo Tropical restaurant
Pollo Tropical did a Caribbean take on grilled marinated chicken. Photo courtesy of Pollo Tropical

Fans of Caribbean-style chicken have been been dealt a fatal blow, as six Pollo Tropical restaurants in South Texas have been shuttered. Those included four restaurants in San Antonio and two in Houston. They were also the last remaining Pollo Tropical locations in the state of Texas. Goodbye, little bird!

According to a statement from Fiesta, their parent company, the closures were due in part to the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey; they were also struggling with a "limited awareness" of the Pollo Tropical brand.

The closures follow a similarly abrupt shutdown in April of all Pollo Tropical branches in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. At the time, Fiesta had plans to relaunch the Pollo Tropical brand in September. Seems like Pollo Tropical can't catch a break.

Their signature dish is citrus-marinated grilled chicken; the menu also includes mojo pork; beef; wings; and tropical sides such as rice, beans, yuca, and sweet plantains. They came to Texas in 2015 in the midst of a wave of Mexican-themed chicken chains arriving such as Pollo Regio and El Pollo Loco.

Fiesta, which is based in Addison, Texas, also owns Taco Cabana. The company stated that it may rebrand two of the Pollo Tropical locations into Taco Cabana restaurants, although a company spokesperson said he had no information on which locations, or if that would even happen.

Fiesta president and CEO Rich Stockinger said in a statement that the hurricane cost the company a short-term loss of business and some property damage, but that they expected the remaining Pollo Tropical locations to continue prospering.

Those include 149 Pollo Tropical restaurants located in Florida and in the Atlanta metropolitan area, with south Florida being their core market.

After Hurricane Harvey struck, Taco Cabana earned positive press by serving thousands of meals to evacuees and first responders in Texas; Pollo Tropical did the same in Florida following Hurricane Irma.