Taco John’s Closes and Fiesta Mexicana Opens in Laurel
Great, I guess now I'll have to head to Billings to get my Potato Oles fix. ICYMI, Taco John's in Laurel abruptly closed over the holidays. Signs were taped on their door and drive-through on January 1, thanking customers for their business. There were no further details regarding the sudden shutdown.
Taco John's is certainly not "real" Mexican food and I'll admit that our family doesn't really eat it very often. I always thought their tacos were kind of "meh." The breakfast burritos aren't too bad and the churros are a tasty treat. Let's be honest... the shining star at TJ's is their crispy, greasy, lightly-seasoned potato crown Oles. The loaded Super Ole was one of my favorite hangover foods.
Taco John's was founded in Cheyenne, WY in 1969 according to their history page. They claim to be the creators of the original Taco Tuesday (they own the trademark). The company says,
Taco John’s operates and franchises nearly 400 restaurants in 23 states – making it one of the largest Mexican quick-service restaurant brands in America.
Make that nearly 399 locations, with the recent Laurel closure. In October 2020 the Hardee's right across the street closed and the building was demolished a month later.
In other Laurel food news, Fiesta Mexicana is now open in the former Guadalajara location inside the Locomotive Bar (right across the street from IGA). They recently opened in late December 2020.
While they lack the drive-through convenience of Taco John's, it's arguable a better option for Mexican food. This marks the second Fiesta Mexicana location in Yellowstone County (the other is now in the former Dos Macho's building on S 24th St W). According to their website, they also have locations in Bozeman, Belgrade, Helena, Butte and Glasgow.
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