Vegan Latin restaurant Papi Ali’s closing in Tucker

Vegan Latin restaurant Papi Ali’s is closing this month in Tucker, about seven months after it opened.

Owner Mikail Ali made the announcement on the restaurant’s Instagram account, and confirmed the closure to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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“We will be closing permanently May 15th,” the post read. “Thank you so much Tucker and everyone that has come out to support Papi Ali’s. It was my dream to provide a place to eat that truly was food for everyone, where you could have healthy eats and feel safe despite allergies or dietary restrictions. Papi Ali’s is not dead, but will be put on the back burner for now.”

Credit: Chris Hunt

Credit: Chris Hunt

The restaurant, located at 2323 Main St., served a menu of plant-based Mexican and Latin dishes including tacos, sandwiches and bowls with proteins including vegan chorizo, guajillo tofu, chipotle jackfruit and bacon.

Prior to opening Papi Ali’s in October 2021, Ali converted a U-Haul truck into a food truck, inspired by the flavors and ingredients he used while working at Spanish restaurant Bar Mercado in Krog Street Market.

Ali told the AJC that he attributes the closure in part to a location that didn’t fit the concept.

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“Too many people walked up, read the menu, saw it was plant-based and walked away,” he said. “I just don’t know if Tucker was ready for it.”

He said he hopes to try the concept again, perhaps in an intown food hall, where “this type of food is more popular.”

In the meantime, he’ll oversee the kitchen for For Better or Wurst, a new restaurant that will take over the Papi Ali’s space in June and will focus on serving gourmet sausages, pretzels and beer. Ali said he’s convinced the owners to add some vegan options to the menu.

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