AMES, Iowa — The owner of Taco Time restaurant in Ames has announced it will close on March 31.
“We just had an opportunity to sell the building and land,” said owner Larry Cornelius. “Taco Time itself is still a viable business. It just doesn’t have a home, so having sold the building and the land, now we’re looking for a home or even a buyer or owner, a new owner for Taco Time.”
Cornelius said that pending development along Lincoln Way made the land Taco Time is sitting on valuable. He said he is a firm believer that Taco Time can continue, but it just needs a new location, and hopefully a new owner.
A meeting was held with Taco Time employees to see if they would stay on to the end of the month. Had he not gotten commitments from the employees, the closure would have come sooner.
Taco Time started in Ames in Campustown in 1969, by prior owners Mac and Janice Peterson. Cornelius bought the business from them 15 years ago. He credits their ethics for showing him how to run a business and treating people right.
“It has been in Ames for a long, long time, I can remember as a kid coming down here and eating with my family,” said Mark Stenberg of Ames.
“It’s like a family member leaving,” said Joyce Crow of Ames. “When I told my son in Iowa City, he said I’ve got to get down there to get a bunch to take home.”
“When it hit the internet, it was like the roof lifted 10 inches,” said Cornelius. “Everybody was abuzz, disappointed. We had people call into the complaint line.
The closing of Taco Time will add to the recent closing of next-door neighbor Kentucky Fried Chicken in 2018, also on Lincoln Way.