By: dgardner

Eat that taco by the fireplace: Taco Time Northwest rolls out new prototype restaurant in Issaquah

Puget Sound Business Journal
October 6, 2014
By Glenn Drosendahl

Taco Time Northwest has in recent years distinguished itself from national fast-food chains by using local ingredients and making sauces and many dishes fresh daily.

Now it has a prototype restaurant that further sets it apart.

The new restaurant, which opened late last month in Issaquah, has an exterior design with shed roof inspired by farmers markets, indoor and outdoor fireplaces and – maybe the biggest difference with its competitors – an open kitchen that allows customers to see their food being made.

“The ultimate goal with this project was to design a restaurant that embraced our 52 years of history while creating an environment that visually communicates what our brand is about and allows our people to better share in the experience with our guests,” Chris Tonkin, vice president of Taco Time Northwest, said in a press release.

Taco Time Northwest is a family-run group of quick-serve Mexican restaurants headquartered in Renton. Founded by Frank Tonkin Sr. in 1962, the company now has 74 locations in the Puget Sound region.

The Issaquah restaurant, located at 5611 221st Place SE, will be a model for the group’s future restaurants. Its look was influenced by comments from focus groups, Chris Tonkin said, and created by Tacoma-based architectural and design firm BCRA.


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