Taco del Mar
|Founded||Seattle, Washington, United States (June 8, 1992 )|
|United States and Canada|
|Owner||High Bluff Capital Partners|
|Parent||REGO Restaurant Group|
Taco Del Mar is a Denver, Colorado-based Mexican fast casual restaurant chain that specializes in coastal Mexican cuisine. Since opening in Seattle on June 8, 1992 by brothers James and John Schmidt, it has expanded into over 260 locations in the U.S. and Canada. It is known for its relaxed, seaside-themed decor inspired by the beaches of Baja California.
The name "Taco del Mar," ("taco of the sea" in Spanish), refers to the chain's original specialty – Baja fish tacos. Like the larger Subway chain, customers direct the preparation of their meal, requesting ingredients along an assembly line. A standard selection of Fresh Mex ingredients is available, including wheat, flour, tomatoes, or spinach tortillas, and fish, beef, pork, or chicken.
In November 2007, Taco del Mar Franchising Corp President David Huether resigned. Less than one month later, Neal Hollingsworth, Taco del Mar's VP of Franchising Sales also resigned and left the Seattle/Tacoma area.
2008 explosion in Vancouver
During the early morning hours of February 13, 2008, a Taco del Mar franchise in Vancouver, British Columbia was destroyed by a large explosion which damaged several nearby businesses. Police confirmed that the blast was caused by an arsonist who had placed an accelerant inside the restaurant, then set it on fire. Vancouver-area police later arrested Kamal Jeet Singh Josan, suffering from burns to over 40% of his body. The motive for this act was not publicly known. In April 2009, charges against Josan were stayed due to lack of evidence. Prosecutors took up the file again in January 2010, and Josan pleaded guilty to one charge of arson on March 14, 2011. Josan was sentenced to two years of house arrest on June 13, 2011.
2010 bankruptcy filing
On Friday, January 22, 2010, Taco del Mar filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Seattle. Among its major creditors were Suzanne Todd, a franchisee in Maryland, with a disputed claim for $500,000; Paul & Shahnaz Hendifar, with a $125,416 judgment entered in Texas; Canada Revenue Agency, with a $105,324 tax claim, and the city of Seattle, with a $95,289 claim for taxes.
Taco del Mar was auctioned in a bankruptcy sale on September 30, 2010, and the winning bid of $3.25 million came from Connecticut company Franchise Brands LLC. Franchise Brands was created in 2005 by Fred DeLuca and Peter Buck, the founders of Subway restaurants. Both Subway and Franchise Brands LLC are based in Milford, Connecticut.
- "Taco Del Mar acquired by High Bluff Capital Partners". www.fastcasual.com. 2018-07-10. Retrieved 2018-07-12.
- "Taco Del Mar's president steps down". The Seattle Times. 10 November 2007. Retrieved 17 September 2015.
- "Another executive leaving Taco Del Mar". seattlepi.com. 20 November 2007. Retrieved 17 September 2015.
- "Canada - News - Winnipeg Sun". winnipegsun.com. Retrieved 17 September 2015.
- Surrey Leader: New twist in Taco del Mar arson case
- CBC: Vancouver police ID suspect in taco shop arson, Owners still wondering why their restaurant was targeted
- "Surprise guilty plea in fast food restaurant blast". British Columbia. 14 March 2011. Retrieved 17 September 2015.
- "Suspect pleads guilty in Broadway explosion". cbc.ca. 14 March 2011. Retrieved 17 September 2015.
- Sheila Reynolds. "Two years house arrest for arsonist". Surrey Leader. Retrieved 17 September 2015.
- "Taco Del Mar files for bankruptcy". Puget Sound Business Journal. Retrieved 17 September 2015.
- "Taco Del Mar goes to Conn. firm in bankruptcy auction". The Seattle Times. 1 October 2010. Retrieved 17 September 2015.