Taco Time at Dilworth Shopping Centre is going to be turned into a Starbucks—but not if Taco Time can help it. (Michael Rodriguez - Kelowna Capital News)

40 years of tacos: Kelowna restaurant’s resolve is harder than its burritos

Taco Time, set to be replaced by a new Starbucks, won’t go down without a fight

The owner and staff of the Taco Time restaurant in the Dilworth Shopping Centre say their resolve to stay open is much harder than the soft shells of their Super Burritos.

The 40-year-old fast-food restaurant is slated to close its doors in the coming months to be torn down and have a Starbucks coffee shop built on its site. But a petition has been launched —which had more than 3,200 signatures Thursday morning—asking for public support to try and keep the restaurant open.

“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).”

Plans for the new coffee shop were approved by city council June 17. When complete, the Dilworth location will be the city’s 16th Starbucks.

READ MORE: Coffee lovers delight: new Starbucks proposed for Kelowna

READ MORE: Starbucks gets Kelowna councillors seal of approval

“After 40 solid years, we will continue to operate this Taco Time and provide our customers with the best products and services we possibly can,” reads a open letter to the public from Taco Time owner Ray Heathcote posted on the door of the restaurant.

“I’m sure we’ll weather whatever this is. We love this location and we’ll treat this blip of uncertainty as it is, a blip.”

The closing date of the restaurant has not yet been announced, and if the Heathcote and his staff have their way, it won’t be any time soon. It is believed the restaurant has more than two years left on its current lease at the Dilworth Shopping Centre location.

The store has also started a Facebook page on which it asks the question: “Is a cup of coffee worth 40 years of tacos?”

The Peterson Group, the property management company for Dilworth Shopping Centre, has yet to comment on the planned change.


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