Restaurant News & Reviews

Lexington getting a second Taco Tico; major expansion planned

Expect to see more Taco Ticos popping up in Lexington and elsewhere. A second location is expected to open in Lexington in the Park Hills Shopping Center this summer.
Expect to see more Taco Ticos popping up in Lexington and elsewhere. A second location is expected to open in Lexington in the Park Hills Shopping Center this summer.

If you love Lexington’s Taco Tico, then get ready to love a lot more of it: The Greer Companies are buying into the Tex-Mex restaurant and plan to expand it.

According to a news release, Greer Companies have purchased the Taco Tico at 1483 Boardwalk from Joe and Leigh Putnam of Lexington and plan to build more in Kentucky and surrounding states.

First, they plan to open a second Lexington Taco Tico in the Park Hills Shopping Center off Man O’War at Pimlico Parkway, in a former Arby’s building. That restaurant is expected to open in June or July.

Taco Tico has been in Lexington since the 1970s and is thought to be Lexington’s first taco joint. It’s actually a chain, founded in Wichita, Kansas, in 1962. There are 17 Taco Ticos in the Midwest and Southeast.

But the Greers, who previously owned dozens of Cheddar’s and are involved in several concepts including Vinaigrette Salad Kitchen, plan to for many more, which is good news for fans of Taco Tico, which has a cult following.

Lee Greer said he’s “had a passion for it since my childhood.” And he isn’t alone.

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In 2017, when the restaurant asked on Facebook where a second Lexington restaurant should go, more than 700 people chimed with suggestions.

“We are excited to have Greer Companies on board as a new franchisee and partner of the Taco Tico brand,” said Ben Johnson, a co-owner of Taco Tico Enterprises in a statement. “We are looking forward to the growth they will be able to bring to the brand.”

Besides the Taco Tico at 1483 Boardwalk, Greer Companies will own 10 percent of the entire Taco Tico brand and may increase that to majority ownership as they develop new restaurants, according to a news release. Once they have majority control, Greer said he anticipates moving the headquarters of the company to Lexington.

“We are delighted to be part of the Taco Tico family. I remember going to Taco Tico as a kid, and I always loved the food and fun, friendly environment,” said Greer, Greer Companies president. “Taco Tico is truly all about the taste and has a long history of providing fresh, high quality food at a reasonable price.”

Janet Patton covers restaurants, bars, food and bourbon for the Herald-Leader. She is an award-winning business reporter who also has covered agriculture, gambling, horses and hemp.
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