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April-Gooden-Dawn-Sloan.jpg Alex Montoya
Dawn Sloan, left, with business partner April Gooden in front of The Common's Sugar & Cloth Color Wall

Chef Dawn Sloan to reopen Soul Taco in Houston at the redeveloped retail space The Common

The chef is partnering with entrepreneur April Gooden

Soul Taco, a former food truck and pop-up concept in Houston, is finding a permanent home this August at The Common, a 38,000 square foot retail center dating back to the 1980s that was recently redeveloped by Houston-based Gulf Coast Commercial Group.

The 2,700-square-foot restaurant will be an anchor of the shopping center, and also the flagship of Soul Taco, which chef Dawn Sloan is already planning on expanding.

Additionally, Sloan is planning a supper club adjacent to Soul Taco where the chef can further exhibit her talents. Details about the expansion and the new supper club were not immediately available.

A career changer, Sloan graduated from culinary school at age 39 and went on to cook around the world in France, Turkey, Ireland, and Italy as well as at fine-dining restaurant La Folie in San Francisco and Azurmendi, a three-Michelin-star restaurant in Larrabetzu, Spain, where she was chef de partie for nearly a year before returning home.  

She’s developing the new restaurant in partnership with entrepreneur April Gooden.

Sloan said she was approached by Gulf Coast to develop the space nearly three years ago, “but the timing just wasn’t right in terms of traction in this neighborhood and without a partner like April, who I respect so much given her acumen, ethics and drive.”

Gooden and Sloan started to work together about a year ago, according to a release announcing the project.

The Common is located at 1102 Pinemont Drive, between the neighborhoods of Acres Homes and GOOF (Garden Oaks and Oak Forest), and both Sloan and Gooden live in the area.

“We are confident that the soulful heart and vibe of this concept will resonate beautifully at this eclectic crossroads of surrounding neighborhoods,” Gooden said in the release, “… and we look forward to becoming a gathering place for this vibrant and growing community.”

Sloan launched the Soul Taco food truck in 2017, featuring breakfast tacos adapted to her own soul-food heritage. It later was a pop-up restaurant at the now-closed Throughgood Coffee.

Specialties included The Miss Tina, a vegan option made with black beans, avocado, sweet potatoes, and caramelized onions, The James Brown, made with brisket, egg, and cheese, and the Happy Feelin, filled with black eyed peas, greens, and caramelized onions.

The new location will be next to The Common’s central common space framed by a mural installation called the Sugar & Cloth Color Wall meant to represent human diversity. The menu will include many local products, including Three Keys Coffee served with house-made syrups, as well as pastries, biscuits, quiches, and other baked goods, plus salads and Sloan’s signature tacos.

Contact Bret Thorn at [email protected] 

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