My search for the perfect taco has taken me many places. The latest is Hubba's Hideout Taco and Tiki Bar, 106 S. Main St., which opened about a month ago.

When I walked through the front door, I was greeted by the music of the Beatles. It was nice to hear that someone still appreciates the classics. My next thought was: Who decorated this place? It's a skateboard shop and a tiki bar. It's kind of crazy, but I like the atmosphere of this place. It's original.

But I wasn't there for the decor or the music. I was there to try a taco. The owner, Alex Vestal, took my order at the bar. I asked him which taco on the menu was a customer favorite. He suggested The Farmer's Market, which comes with a black bean and corn salsa and a house-made vegan ranch dressing for $3.50. The toppings go on your choice of shredded beef, chicken or pork. There's jackfruit for vegans. I chose the beef.

I did not identify myself as a Globe columnist until after he had served the taco. I like to be treated like any other customer who comes through the door.

While I waited, I checked out the decor. Clearly skateboards have evolved from the one I had when I was a teenager. My board was narrow and the wheels were hard — the kind you would find on roller skates at that time. The boards are much wider now. Above the tiki bar is a big TV where you can watch professional and amateur skateboarders. Watching skateboarders is a lot like watching NASCAR. You know somebody is going to crash. That's why you watch. The thing about skateboarders is that they literally take it on the shin.

My taco arrives. It's a good-sized taco with two corn tortillas to hold everything together. I knew with my first bite it was a winner. Why? It was served hot. Most tacos consist of a hot meat with cool ingredients on top. By the time it gets to your table, the meat might be warm if you are lucky. The beef was hot and tender, and the salsa complemented it all. There was no need for hot sauce to enhance the flavor.

Vestal told me the recipes for the tacos come from friends and from his travels across the country as a skateboarder.

There are other taco choices on the menu, including the basic cilantro and cabbage version for $2.50. And you can get nachos and rice bowls with the same ingredients that are used with the tacos. Hubba's Hideout has its version of Taco Tuesday. You buy two tacos and get one free. Hours are from 11 a.m to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Hubba's Hideout is in the process of obtaining its liquor license.

This storefront formerly housed The Gaslight and more recently El Guapo's Cigar and Pipe Lounge, which has relocated to 532 S. Joplin Ave. Hubba's Hideout now finds itself in an enviable position. It could be at the right place at the right time for the 100 block of South Main Street. A new brewery, Chaos Brewery, is coming to the former JB's Downtown at 112 S. Main St., and plans for a black-box theater were recently announced for an empty storefront at 124 S. Main St. We could be watching the formation of a new entertainment district on Main Street.

The Rolling Stones were playing as I left Hubba's Hideout last Wednesday afternoon. I was having such a good time I forgot to pay. I came back to pay an hour later and the place was busy with customers. I'm still searching for the perfect taco, but I now know where I can get a good one and apparently so do others.

Land deal

A piece of property with high visibility has changed hands on South Range Line Road, but it's not clear yet what is in the cards.

The former Paint Stallion property at the southeast corner of 32nd Street and Range Line Road has been sold, according to Susie Goodall, a broker with Legacy Real Estate, Joplin. Goodall said the property was sold in mid-November.

It is not clear yet whether the property will be developed or whether an investor has purchased it for resell. Stay tuned.

If you have news about something that’s happening on Range Line Road or Main Street, dial 417-623-3480, ext. 7250; or send an email to; or send a fax to Wally Kennedy at 417-623-8598.

Wally Kennedy is a reporter and columnist for The Joplin Globe.

Recommended for you