VERO BEACH — El Toro Tacos & Tequila at the Patio, the historic landmark restaurant in Vero’s old downtown, closed last weekend, becoming the first victim of the seasonal slowdown that each summer challenges Vero Beach restaurants.
Charley Replogle, owner of the beachside Ocean Grill, had taken over the restaurant a year ago and had sought to transform the old Patio – once a hangout for Dodgers fans – into a hip Mexican eatery.
But neither Mexican food enthusiasts nor fans of the old Patio, which had been around for a quarter of a century, warmed to the new restaurant in sufficient numbers to make it a success.
The building itself dates back to Vero pioneer Waldo Sexton, who also built such landmarks as the Driftwood Inn and structures at McKee Botanical Garden.
It is owned by Ralph and Chris Sexton.