For months, years even, I've pleaded, pressed and petitioned for a taco joint to open in Wash Park, my home turf, and just about every neighbor -- friend or enemy -- with whom I've spoken, agrees. Even chefs concur that this neighborhood would embrace street tacos, but since there are also really weird people in my 'hood who believe that imbibing liquid assets is a mortal sin, getting a liquor license seems more difficult that winning a gold medal.
And while there's no taco shop in the future for Wash Park, South Colorado Boulevard is close enough (for now), and that's where a third outpost of Yolanda's Tacos, which got its start in Castle Rock before branching out to the Tech Center, is opening in August.
"We looked in Wash Park, in Cherry Creek and around the DU area, but we were searching for affordability, and we found the best bang for the buck here," says John Heil, who's the franchisee for the space, which is located in the same retail complex as the Safeway at South Colorado Boulevard and I-25, right next door to Jaya Asian Grill.
Heil, an accountant, says that he wanted to own his own business, "but I didn't know it would be a taco shop," he admits. Still, the food at Yolanda's, which pimps thirteen variations of tacos, seven different salsas, queso, nachos and burritos, impressed him so much that he jumped at the opportunity to own the first franchise in the state (the other two are corporately owned). "I love the place," he says. "The food is really high-quality, the customer service is great and I've always had a great experience at both locations, so it was an opportunity that I didn't want to pass up."
The menu, notes Heil, will be an exact replica of the other two shops, and he's applied for a liquor license, too, which he expects he'll get -- but not before it opens to the public at the end of August. "We've applied for the license, but I think we'll be open before it's in place, and we still have a few hurdles to get over where the space is concerned, but I think we'll do well here, and if so, then we'll open a few more within the next few years."
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But probably not in Wash Park.