Condado Tacos invitations native artists to color in South Hills

A painting by the icon Andy Warhol crawls out of a grave with spray cans in his hands.

A zombie hovers above.

Across the room, trolley carts appear to be rolling along South Hills Junction. The city of Pittsburgh appears in the background.

On the other side is a representation of a National Record Mart.

The steps to the side slopes adorn another wall.

The Pittsburgh-inspired scenes are depicted on the walls of the newest Condado tacos in South Hills Village. It will open on February 25th. It is the 23rd store overall and joins the locations in Downtown Pittsburgh and Lawrenceville.

“This is my favorite Condado tacos,” said Jimi Gibson, assistant general manager and a native of Monroeville who lives on the South Side. “It’s so colorful. It resonates with me. ”

The Condado Tacos is located near Macy’s and has shopping malls and outdoor entrances. The inside capacity is 150 and on the outside terrace a further 50 seats.

Nate Smallwood | Tribune review

The interior of Condado Tacos in the South Hills Village Mall on February 16, 2021.

Each store is decorated to represent its specific location. Gibson calls this “Condado South Hills”. A dozen creatives were selected with Condado’s art director to create a décor that New Kensington-based artist Matt Spahr describes as “old school hip-hop with a nod to the 1980s and 90s.”

“We wanted something uplifting, engaging and for all ages,” said Spahr, whose 18-year-old daughter Grace helped paint some characters.

Condado invites local artists who can portray the intricacies of a city because they know the story Gibson told. They used an acrylic paint called Nova and created the murals with brushes and spray paint.

“We want the art to have the feel of the environment,” Gibson said. “We don’t want it to feel like a chain store.”

Spahr said the art is to honor the people who paved the way for them. While they were painting, they listened to music from the 1980s and 90s.

“I trust Condado,” said Spahr, who has worked at multiple locations. “They let us come up with fresh ideas. They give us artistic freedom. ”

Spahr said they started with computer drawings and when they were being painted they were thrown some curveballs.

“If you have a good foundation, you can beat these curveballs out of the park,” said Spahr. “We all have a work ethic here in Pittsburgh, so we focused on making that happen. Art surrounds you here. I love to see my art out there. Murals are art for people. You can have a taco and enjoy some art. You can’t do that in a museum. ”

Condado is known for its own style of taco. The store offers vegan and gluten-free options.

You have hired almost 16 people. On the opening day, everyone gets a free taco.


Nate Smallwood | Tribune review

The interior of Condado Tacos in the South Hills Village Mall on February 16, 2021.

The wall painter Max “Gems” Gonzales said this experience was something special for him.

“Condado is Mexican and I’m a Mexican-American from Chicago, so this work speaks for my identity,” said Gonzales of the Upper Hill District. “It’s also in a mall and is seen by all kinds of people every day. It’s not in a museum. It is art that is accessible to everyone. ”

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a contributor to the Tribune Review. You can contact JoAnne at 724-853-5062,, or on Twitter.

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