Is this the end for Mr. Taco in Lansing?

Owner contemplates selling southside taco restaurant

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WEDNESDAY, Jan. 12  — One of Lansing’s most legendary taco shops may soon be listed for sale, according to an online post from Bill Bonofiglo, the owner of the last Mr. Taco in south Lansing.

“We are going to try to sell the restaurant to someone so all of you can enjoy it,” Bonofiglo wrote on his Facebook page last week, which was shared with a private Mr. Taco Facebook group.

The drive-thru restaurant — the last of what was once four Mr. Tacos  — was reportedly resurrected by Bonofiglo, the son of one of Mr. Taco’s original founders, in 2018. It has since developed a bit of a cult following in Lansing for its infamously inconsistent hours and sporadic menu changes.

In a series of social media posts over the last several weeks, Bonofiglo has pleaded with customers to continue patronizing his taco shop amid the pandemic, subsequent staffing shortages and various operational challenges — including an apparent shortage of taco sauce.

In late December, Bonofiglo announced that “it is no secret Mr. Taco will be sold or will be forced to close.” Another social media post from Bonofiglo also noted that “our future is up in the air.” 

Last week, those financial struggles appeared to have reached a head — with Bonofiglo again noting that he was working to “sell the restaurant to someone so all of you can enjoy it.”

Bonofiglo has ignored several Facebook messages from City Pulse, though he confirmed that he had plans to sell the building in a brief chat last week at the Mr. Taco drive-thru window. He agreed to an interview “as long as it wasn’t for a hit piece,” but hasn’t returned subsequent calls.

Mr. Taco originally opened in Lansing in 1967, according to reports in the Lansing State Journal. Before Bonofiglo decided to reboot the restaurant in 2015, all four of its locations had been closed for more than a decade. The location on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard hasn’t been publicly listed for sale. The drive-thru is set to be open again from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday.

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