Taco Shop Says Adiós to Union

GABBY HARTZE | THE SPECTRUM The Taco Shop in the Union’s lower level was open for its last day Thursday. Dining Services is looking for a replacement restaurant.
GABBY HARTZE | THE SPECTRUM
The Taco Shop in the Union’s lower level was open for its last day
Thursday. Dining Services is looking for a replacement restaurant.

Taco Shop wrapped its last burrito and topped off its final free refill last week.

The retail restaurant in the Memorial Union’s lower level quietly closed Thursday afternoon after years of operation at North Dakota State.

NDSU Dining Services is already looking for its replacement, Darren Peterson said. Paul Johnson, Taco Shop’s owner, did not respond to interview requests.

Peterson, the director of dining services, said overturn is common in the dining market, especially in Taco Shop’s former location.

“It’s the nature of retail restaurants,” he said. “This university, before I got here, had a Taco Bell and a Taco Johns in that exact same spot.”

The location, situated in the east corner of the Union, might soon be seeing more foot traffic, Peterson said.

“With the new STEM building opening up and its traffic flow, from what I understand, an access point will be opened,” he said. “That could change the dynamic of the retail down there.”

GABBY HARTZE | THE SPECTRUM
GABBY HARTZE | THE SPECTRUM

With an ever-changing dynamic, Peterson said more “effort and research” will be conducted before filling the spot.

Dining Services is in the preliminary stages of filling the vacancy. Peterson said the goal is to have new shop in by fall semester’s start.

“We’ll look at doing anything from doing something ourselves to looking at other national brands,” he said.

NDSU oversees four stores in the lower level, with Panda Express being a fifth and final remaining chain restaurant still in operation.

Student feedback is essential, Peterson said, noting the recent student government Tuesday Two poll asking students what their restaurant preferences were.

He has yet to receive the poll’s feedback, but he said students should be excited for something new

“It’s going to be something exciting for the university,” he said. “It’s still pretty preliminary, but (the space) can be turned around pretty quick.”

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