Humble Taco to open at University Drive location in 2019

A rendering of the new Humble Taco location on University Drive, (Submitted photo)

Ryan Phillips
SDN Editor

The announcement that a new fast-casual taco eatery would open at an old service station on the corner of Jackson Street and Highway 182 was met with excitement, but recent changes will see the concept open at a different location.

The restaurant, which will be operated by Eat Local Starkville, will now open on University Drive, immediately next door to sister restaurant City Bagel in the new development created by the Camp family.

A tentative opening date of January 2019 has been set, and once open, Humble Taco will add roughly 40 new jobs to the local economy.

“It’s everything we want it to be, with a large courtyard patio and it’s surprisingly larger,” said Brian Kelley, a Starkville attorney who is one of the partners in Eat Local Starkville.

Kelley said the new location will be much larger than the initial location, and will be roughly 4,000 square feet, which is basically double the size of the former Humble Oil service station.

The initial concept was announced in March and was expected to open during the summer, but once the restaurant group crunched the financial numbers for the first intended location for Humble Taco, Kelley said rehabbing the old building would prove too expensive.

Then, by a stroke of luck, the space next to City Bagel opened and the group signed a lease for the location with the Camp family for the next decade.

Eat Local Starkville will work with the Camp family to make the project a reality, along with Amanda Shafer Kelley of Jamison Fry Interior Design for the interiors of the restaurant.

“We have had this vision for a taco concept in Starkville for quite a while,” Kelley said. “Dan and the Camp family create beautiful spaces and have done a tremendous amount to make Starkville a better place to live. When the opportunity came up for us to put this concept in their new development, we felt it was a great fit.”

Robert Camp said the Cotton District is excited to continue its relationship with Brian Kelley and Eat Local Starkville partner - chef Ty Thames.

He then praised the past success of restaurants Bin 612, Restaurant Tyler/The Guest Room, and recently City Bagel Cafe, as the group brings its newest concept to University Drive.

“Humble Taco will be the focal point of our new Midtown location,” Camp said. “Amanda Kelley’s designs, Ty Thames’s cuisines, and Bonn Camp’s use of space, will create an environment that’s certain to thrive with vitality and energy.”

Thames said the concept’s vision for its culinary offerings will remain the same at Humble Taco, as they work to blend together the flavors of the south with the flavors of Mexico and continue to utilize local farmers for meats and vegetables.

“We are going to put out something that I think Starkville does not currently have and is going to love,” he said.

Eat Local Starkville operates Restaurant Tyler, City Bagel, Bin 612 and The Guest Room.

Thames, a native Mississippian, studied at the New England Culinary institute before returning home to open a restaurant in Starkville with Kelley, who was his college roommate and current business partner.

Hunter Smith, the third partner in the concept who also served as general manager of Restaurant Tyler, also expressed his excitement after the group overcame a roadblock in getting Humble Taco off the ground.

“I am really proud of what we do at Eat Local Starkville and am really happy to be a partner in Humble Taco,” Smith said. “I’ve met so many great people at Restaurant Tyler and am looking forward to seeing lots of familiar faces a short walk down the road at Humble Taco.”