Tuesday, May 11, marks the final Taco Tuesday for Kelowna’s Taco Time restaurant. After 40 years of tacos, the fast-food restaurant has had its lease terminated and is shuttering its doors for good.
In a statement posted on the taco shop’s front doors, owner Ray Heathcote said that it’s hard to fit 40 years into one paragraph.
“I’ve watched Kelowna go through some of the best and the worst times, and we have hung in there experiencing all of it,” wrote Heathcote. “It breaks my heart to have to make this announcement, especially at a time when our team has made so many personal sacrifices to keep the doors open.”
In 2019, Heathcote launched a petition pleading to the public to help save the restaurant, which is located in the Dilworth Shopping Centre.
“Never missed a lease payment and always been a great tenant,” reads part of the petition. “But overnight there was a demolition clause in the lease that the property management company is trying to enforce. So what does that mean? Well, for someone who has been in that location for 40 years, it means get out so they can tear down the building and replace it with a proposed StarBucks (sic).”
In his statement hanging on the restaurant’s door, Heathcote said that he worked hard to extend the business’s lease with the landlord, Peterson Commercial Properties
“I guess it’s onto bigger and better things for them,” he said. “In closing, it’s been a great run, and once again, thank you for all the years of support.”
— With files from Michael Rodriguez