The Local is Abilene's newest downtown restaurant/bar located in the former Busch Jewelers building on Cypress Street between N. 2nd and N. 3rd streets. They specialize in gourmet tacos and high end cocktails ($8 and up). It is great to see downtown Abilene continue to expand and offer more and more options to head down there in the evening.
My friends and I went by on a Thursday evening about two weeks after they opened. We went fairly early at around 5:30pm and were seated immediately but the place soon started to fill (as any new place in Abilene will the first few weeks after opening) and remained popular before the pandemic hit. I ordered chips and salsa for the table. The portion size was not overly generous but the salsa was tasty. The chips were on the stale side.
Three of us ordered a single taco at an average price of $5 per taco. The fourth ordered a grilled chicken salad. He, by far, made the best choice since a salad is generally not meant to come out hot. The presentation was great but the tacos were tepid. This is a common comment that I heard from others that have eaten at The Local, even several months after opening. However, it did not seem to dim their popularity among the socialites in town.
The two chicken taco versions that were ordered were flavorful but my carne guisada taco was practically inedible. Not only was it lukewarm the meat was so tough I could not chew it. Very disappointing. Plus, I was fairly certain I had ordered the carne asada taco as I generally do not care for gravy on my meat.
The food was brought out on small metal trays with a paper liner that had old Busch Jeweler ads on it. The nod to the history of the space was a nice touch. The decor is upscale. Lots of glass, metal, with black and amber accents. There is also an upstairs area.
I have been back a couple of times but only to meet friends for drinks and conversation, not to actually order a meal. My recommendation--go by for an adult beverage before or after a downtown event but do not go there hungry.
250 Cypress St, Abilene, TX 79601