Rosemary's Texas Taco Closes

It's been a local landmark for decades.

Two handwritten "Closed till?" signs have been hanging for months on the front door and on a fence at Rosemary's Texas Taco in Patterson.

Fans of the iconic eatery have waited patiently for the doors to reopen, posting curious questions on Facebook and hoping for good news. 

But the restaurant sign is gone. The decorations and trinkets that once covered the front lawn are slowly disappearing, perhaps into the moving truck parked in the lot. And comments from Texas Taco-lovers have turned into notes of sadness and surprise at the apparent closing of the Route 22 landmark.

Many are sending best wishes to the owner, Rosemary Jamison, a Texas native who came to New York in the 1960s. She posted this note on Facebook in January:

"TO ALL MY WONDERFUL LOYAL FRIENDS AND CUSTOMERS -- i send all my love. i'm not in the best of health at this time. I will try to beat this challenge and be back with you someday soon. thankyou from the bottom of my heart, ROSEMARY"

Attempts to reach Jamison were unsuccessful.

Her eccentric style went beyond the unusual items that hung all around the restaurant—and the rainbow of colors that bled out onto the pavement of the parking lot—to the purple hair she's donned for decades.

"So sorry to see the vans taking away the fantastic items you had put together in such a wonderful way," one person wrote on the restaurant's Facebook page. "I always brought out of town visitors with me. It was great, the food was great and of course YOU were the [greatest] too. I do hope the next big thing in your life is fantastic. You gave lots of fun to a lot of folks. Thanks."

Here are some of the comments folks have left on the Facebook page: 

  • "Think Yaffa Cafe but 100 times cooler. Badass punk rock avante garde kitsch genius wiggy psychedelic visionary retro pop art haven. Oh and there's Mexican food, too! And Chico, the 40-something year old parrot who says "hello" to you repeatedly. In the 70's and 80's Rosemary's monkey actually walked around and chilled with the customers. As if the place wasn't trippily fabulous enough!!! If all this still doesn't have to [sic] tapping in the address right now to Googlemaps on your smartphone, you simply must go to see Rosemary's exceedingly phenomenal, fiercely gorgeous makeup."
  • "I've had lots of tacos in my life, and no one makes them even close to you!! My friends and I have been coming to Texas Taco for over 20 years. We are sending you lots of love and best wishes for a speedy recovery, and hope to see you soon!"
  • "Been coming by annually for decades. Get well and thanks for the legend."

Please share your memories in the attached comments section. 

Beth Blanck April 25, 2013 at 12:27 PM
Can't believe I've lived here so long and never went there ;-(
Ashley Tarr (Editor) April 25, 2013 at 12:33 PM
Also worth mentioning: I stopped into the neighboring businesses (Carriage House, Patterson Auto Body, Patterson Deli and Putnam Diner) and asked if they knew Rosemary. They all said yes—some have known her for years—but none well enough to know what the story was with the restaurant. A few thought she headed back to Texas.
Rachel April 25, 2013 at 02:05 PM
I believe she went back to Texas a while ago and now will be staying there to try to mend major back problems. I also heard that everything was purchased and will be auctioned. I'm heartbroken that we didn't at least get one last good bye batch of food. Tears came to my eyes the day I saw the sign had been taken down.
Dee April 25, 2013 at 02:12 PM
Thank you Rosemary for the fabulous food and it was always a pleasure going there and seeing new stuff. I will truly miss the great Burritos and Tacos. I hope all is well and you come back with a vengence... At least let your fans have one more of your tacos.Best of wishes for a speedy recovery for whatever is wrong health wise!!!!
Dee April 25, 2013 at 02:35 PM
I saw her a couple of months ago in a whellchair in an ambulette at Punam hospital she must be real sick!!
Mark Juenemann April 25, 2013 at 05:18 PM
Where else do you get a good taco for under $2?
Cindy April 26, 2013 at 12:06 AM
When I moved up here about 22 years ago not knowing the area we showed up at your restaurant. Great food, and great company. Wishing you a speedy recovery and come back soon.
frank grady April 26, 2013 at 12:31 AM
hey i rember getting tocos from rose when all she had was a taco cart and then she was in pawling bless you rose hope to see you in the a&p again frank g
Beth Tompkins April 26, 2013 at 01:29 AM
Rosemary gave me my first job as a "toc-ette". Loved the Texas Taco and loved Rosemary, truly one of a kind! ✌❤☀
Jennifer Clark Romanino April 26, 2013 at 04:46 AM
I can not believe it :( Ever since I was a little kid that place has been there. She was a great person and from the bottom of my heart I hope she gets well. ❤ That special place will be truly be missed :'(
Frank Weddell April 26, 2013 at 11:01 AM
Rosmary had been in the theater in her prime, as yellowed newspaper clippings hanging in the restraunt attest. Yes she is one of a kind. She used to cater parties at one point, and had a second restraunt in Danbury, as well. She must be in her late 70's or early 80's. I sold her things in the 1970's and she was past her prime then. She will be missed I'm sure.
James Parker April 26, 2013 at 12:35 PM
I've known Rosemary for AT LEAST 40 years. Her Taco cart in Central Park was the beginning. When she first opened on Rt.22 I gifted her a collection of rock posters that I no longer had space for...I never passed that location or her future spots without stopping by to get a welcome like no other place in the world. Every time I drove by and saw her ever changing assortment of vehicles and other memorabilia, just the thought of her made my life fuller. I hope she is on the mend...She remains one of the special people I have known in a special saga known as my life...
Bob April 26, 2013 at 03:10 PM
I first went to Texas Taco in 1977 when it was located on Rte 22, but a little north of it's current location. Was blown away by the décor & ambience. Loved the monkey back in the day. I continued to get burritos there for the next 35 years. I could not believe it when my daughter tipped me off that it had closed. Long live Rosemary, she will be sorely missed - Bob Jones
Jackie Wilkin April 26, 2013 at 04:33 PM
Rt 22 will not be the same without the Texas Taco there. RoseMary use to buy her groceries in the Grand Union in Pawling for years before the A&P came to town.She was a real classy, kind and caring woman. I use to tell her she was way before her time in this world. You will be missed my friend.
Patricia Schwerkolt April 26, 2013 at 05:51 PM
Rosemary you made a GREAT taco!! You knew how to draw attention and friends. Peace
Liam Brennan April 28, 2013 at 01:30 AM
Just driving by the place brought a smile to your face. Very rare to find businesses whose owners put as much care, flair and whimsy in their store. Coolest restaurant for miles around- it will be missed. Putnam just got a little less colorful. Best wishes for a full recovery, Rosemary.
MSS April 29, 2013 at 01:59 PM
We used to stop here on the way home from ski trips up Rt. 22 in the late 70's...lots of good memories.
Thomas May 01, 2013 at 01:08 AM
I remember when being a little kid back in the 70's our friends threw an awesome birthday party at their house. There were lots of tacos, a wild little monkey and of course Mary......Great Times!
katlin May 10, 2013 at 05:06 PM
I worked at Texas taco when I was a teen for a few years. She was an amazing boss. My mom used to take me there when u was a baby then worked there! Rosemary is a wonderful and very strong person and I know and hope she fights the battle she is fighting!! Putnam county will never be the same with Texas taco not open love ya rosemary * Katlin
Barbara Novella August 10, 2013 at 12:07 PM
Rosemary was a patient at the dental office (Dr. Kohn) that I worked at for 25 years. She came to him and needed a crown(cap) on one of her front teeth. She had a diamond that she wanted to put into her crown and she wanted it to be set in gold. Dr. Kohn being creative worked with a jeweler and the dental lab and was able to deliver. . She was a wonderful patient whom we loved dearly. She was a great patient and a lovely person. She was so dedicated to her business. She deserves to retire and I hope she will get back to good health. Peace and good health to you Rosemary!!!
Ivy Miller Sciandra August 16, 2013 at 12:56 PM
I used to love to go to the Texas Taco after the Stormville Flea Market. She made the best chili dogs. I'm glad my 12 year old son got to go there a few times. I just told him and he was very bummed out. Get the rest you need Rosemary. You are truly a one of a kind.
Elizabeth R Baecher April 17, 2014 at 07:16 PM
How sad. I was an infrequent visitor, but loved that place. Perhaps there is a new person to take up where she left off?


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