“People were afraid to come to this area” | East Austin has changed a lot over the years and the owner of Tamale House has seen the area grow

Diana Valera feels East Austin has been neglected over the years. She closed the Tamale House in 2000 but reopened it in 2012 because she felt the area was developing.

AUSTIN, Texas – There’s nothing quite like biting into a delicious tamales, a favorite dish throughout Latin America.

KVUE spoke to the owner of Tamale house, an East Austin neighborhood that’s been around for decades. However, getting the company to where it is today has not been an easy task.

It’s no secret that East Austin has changed a lot over the years.

“When I opened in 1984, people were afraid to come to this area at the time,” said owner Diana Valera.

Before it became known as “trendy,” East Austin was a place some people avoided. Valera felt that her neighborhood was being neglected.

“It caused this area to not develop in the same direction as other areas of Austin,” she said. “And much of the character and traditions unique to Hispanic and African-American culture have been retained.”

Tamale House was and is one of East Austin’s jewels. Valera closed it in 2000, but in 2012 her children encouraged her to reopen it.

“They felt, and I felt as well, that the area was developing in a way that it would probably be good to reopen,” Valera said.

The family business has witnessed the entire growth of the region. Valera said it is rich in culture, traditions, food and music.

Her dream is to continue preserving the area and the Tamale House name. The company has no intention of going anywhere.

“I’m glad we’re still here because on that street, Sixth Street, you’re probably just three of the original family businesses,” Valera said.

She will continue to cook and share her family’s traditions because that is what makes her restaurant and East Austin so special.

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https://www.kvue.com/article/features/tamale-house-east-austin-growth/269-22cc5b6c-b5a7-4e22-94b0-9b4b33a4076a “People were afraid to come to this area” | East Austin has changed a lot over the years and the owner of Tamale House has seen the area grow

Laura Coffey

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