Kris Serviss Returns to the Old Blue Duck Space, This Time With Tacos

Taqueria del Norte — and a new food truck — are set to open sometime in October.

northeast philly tacos

Kris Serviss

Chef Kris Serviss is opening a taco concept in — get this — the home of the original Blue Duck.

Taqueria del Norte will occupy the space at 2859 Holme Avenue where Serviss and former business partner Joe Callahan opened their first concept in 2014. Blue Duck closed back in June, not long after sister restaurant Blue Duck on Broad folded; Ugly Duckling, another downtown offshoot, lasted just four months before closing last fall. Serviss was ousted from day-to-day operations by Callahan last October.

Now, Serviss serves as culinary director for a new group of partners working together under the name Northeast Tacos: Ryan Fitzpatrick of North Shore, the North Wildwood bar that opened at the start of the summer season; Steve Godfrey and Paul Robinson of Northeast Sandwich Co., which opened this past winter; and Brian Zanczuk, with whom Serviss is planning Culture, a Detroit-style pizza concept (but more on that in a minute).

“My team thought, one, let’s give Kris his place back and two, let’s continue to build our brand in a spot that thrives on good food,” Serviss said. “That spot was my baby, and I’m very excited to get back there.”

The Taqueria del Norte concept was inspired by a pop-up collaboration Serviss did with chef Adan Trinidad of Jose Pistola’s a few years ago.

“I’m not trying to be one of these white dudes that tries to do traditional Mexican food,” Serviss said. “Just trying to offer the Northeast a great taco spot with fun twists on things.” The menu will include tacos, small plates, and entrees like chorizo meatloaf, green chile burgers, and enchiladas. He’s shooting for an opening sometime in October.

The group will also debut a food truck, North Eats, around the same time, with a menu that pulls from all of their concepts for private events, festivals, and street sales in the Northeast. This fall, North Shore will be open on weekends through November, with the possibility to extend hours further into the off season if there’s enough local demand.

As for Culture, it’s been denied twice by the zoning board at the desired location in Somerton, so the group are looking at other locations in the area to try again. Serviss and Zanczuk were originally planning for a 50-seat BYO with handmade pasta and brunch along with pizza, but now they’re hoping to open somewhere with a liquor license.