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Taco Shop for sale in downtown Fargo

Owner Troy Thomson said with its modern kitchen equipment and furnishings, 117 Broadway N. would be a turnkey operation for restaurateurs.

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Troy Thomson opened the downtown Fargo Taco Shop location in February 2020 at 117 Broadway N. He is now looking to sell the restaurant's equipment and furnishings as a turnkey operation, he said Friday, June 17, 2022. David Samson / The Forum
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FARGO — Feel like opening a restaurant in downtown Fargo? Troy Thomson feels like he has the deal for you.

The owner of the Taco Shops, a fast-casual Mexican favorite in the metro area, has listed the assets of his restaurant in the Bristol Building at 117 Broadway N. for sale at $95,000 with Kilbourne Commercial Real Estate.

“What I’d like to do is just try to sell it as a turnkey restaurant opportunity for another restaurant,” Thomson said Friday, June 17. “All the equipment, it’s completely renovated.”

The buyer would have to sign a new lease with the landlord, the listing says, and the Taco Shop as a business, its signage and food inventory, aren't part of the deal.

What does come with the deal is a fully built-out kitchen, tables and chairs, and a fully renovated space, according to the listing for the 2,725-square-foot restaurant on the area’s multiple listing service.

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Thomson said his Taco Shops at 420 N. University Drive and 1825 S. University Drive fared well during the COVID-19 pandemic, thanks to their drive-through windows, which made it possible to serve customers through restrictions which, at times, severely hampered traditional sit-down restaurants.

“For the last two years, it just hasn’t really worked out (downtown) like many of the restaurants around. I opened right at the start of COVID,” he said.

While business for the "Home of the Grinder" has been coming back at the downtown location, “I just want to focus back on the original two that have been in Fargo forever that have the drive-thrus and everything else,” he said.

Thomson opened the downtown Taco Shop in February 2020 in the spot once occupied by Sweeto Burrito. He extensively renovated the restaurant space, making it look modern, clean, inviting. It was just before the COVID-19 pandemic really took hold in the U.S.

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The Taco Shop, 117 Broadway N., Fargo, is seen in this undated photo that appears as part of its online sale listing with the Fargo-Moorhead Multiple Listing Service. Troy Thomson, the owner of Fargo's Taco Shops, said Friday, June 17, 2022, that he wants to sell the remodeled restaurant's kitchen and furnishings as a turnkey operation.

He followed that up in late August 2020, by opening another Taco Shop in the former Incognito Burrito space in the Bison Block building at 1414 12th Ave. N., just across from the main campus of North Dakota State University.

It was an aggressive move during the pandemic, but he said at the time that the opportunity to open the restaurant by NDSU was too good to pass up. He was confident his tacos, grinders and burritos were at the right price point for college students.

The Taco Shop had a history with NDSU, even once having an on-campus location. Thomson also spent 10 years as the Fargodome’s director of food and beverages.

However, he later moved the Taco Shop out of the Bison Block space, and it has since been replaced by a Fargo Fillies & Mac Daddy’s restaurant , which opened in October 2021.

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Thomson said the downtown location has a great kitchen with a big hood system.

“It’s just that my No. 1 selling items are tacos, and you know the price point for downtown is just tough to do,” he said. “For somebody that has a little higher ticket average downtown, it’s still great. It’s just, for my tacos and everything else, it just hasn’t. But it is picking up, that is the good thing.”

For now, Thomson said he’ll try to adjust his hours a little later to serve foot traffic that’s increasing in the evening and nighttime hours.

“I honestly thought it was going to sell a little bit faster than that, but, you know, I’m not closing it. I’m either going to try to sell it or adjust my times,” he said.

Helmut Schmidt is a reporter for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead's business news team. Readers can reach him by email at hschmidt@forumcomm.com, or by calling (701) 241-5583.
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