Taco John’s has opened its first location in the Greater Cincinnati area in West Chester Twp.
“Taco John’s is Mexican, quick service. They have been around since 1969. They currently have about 400 or so restaurants in 20-plus states. Meritage Hospitality Group is excited to bring 50-plus locations to the Ohio-Michigan area over the next couple of years,” said Brandon Parnell, area director for the Meritage Hospitality Group
The restaurant on Cincinnati-Dayton Road had a soft opening April 17 and has a grand opening celebration planned for mid-May. Hayden Molner has been named as the location’s general manager.
“We have been a Wendy’s franchisee for the past several years, and we’re one of the biggest Wendy’s franchises, nationwide. We hit our cap on growth as far as the Wendy’s brand is concerned, so in order to grow and build more restaurants, and to expand the portfolio, we started looking at other brands that we could dive deep into and we really felt like Taco John’s has a huge potential,” Parnell said.
Credit: Nick Graham
Credit: Nick Graham
“We have our cravable flavors like our Potato Olés, and once you have our Potato Olés, you are going to crave and want to come back for it. We’re also known for our premium ingredients. Once you’ve tried the food and compared it to the competition, you’re going to instantly realize, ‘hey, this is a much better taco or burrito.’ The quality of the ingredients is much higher,” Parnell said.
He described Potato Olés as “a small, crispy hashbrown, similar to a tater tot, and it’s tossed in our signature Potato Olé seasoning.”
“We are known for the Potato Olés, but we have everything from our Quesadilla’s, something for a quick snack, all the way up to a Boss Burrito, which is over a pound of ingredients in a burrito,” Parnell said. “Everything is made fresh, in-house daily.”
The new location is a result of a partnership between Taco John’s International and Meritage Hospitality Group. Meritage Hospitality Group is based in Grand Rapids, Michigan and operates more than 400 restaurant franchises nationwide. In addition to Wendy’s, the company has a few of their own restaurant concepts including a handful of Stan’s Taco’s and Morning Belle locations, which are local to Grand Rapids. The West Chester Taco John’s is located at 8155 Highland Pointe Drive.
“West Chester will be our fourth Taco John’s location. We have three in and around Grand Rapids that we just opened over the last eight weeks,” Parnell said.
He said, “West Chester is just a beautiful area with a high population density, and it’s right off the interstate. So, we’re situated one traffic light away from the interstate. It’s a great, prime location, right in front of Walmart.”
There is another location that’s already under construction in Kettering, and several more are planned for Ohio, over the course of the next 18 months. Several, meaning more than five, he said.
“In order to continue to grow and expand Meritage, we are investing heavily in the Taco John’s brand,” Parnell said.
Taco John’s is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and late night. Popular menu options include “Six-Pack And A Pound,” which includes six Crispy Beef or Softshell Tacos, one pound of Potato Olés and “Family Pack And A Pound” that has two Beef Meat & Potato Burritos, four Beef Softshell Tacos and one pound of signature Potato Olés. Taco John’s is open for breakfast at 6:30 a.m. and is open daily until 11 p.m.
“There’s really something for everybody. We fry our own taco shells in-house, every day, so the food is always fresh. That sets us apart,” Parnell said.
He said there will be “street teams” canvasing the neighborhood this weekend, introducing Taco John’s to the community and other local businesses. Street team members will be dropping off menus and Taco John’s swag.
About the Author