Update (2:10 p.m.): Les Hatter says that all 20 of Taqueria del Sol’s workers were placed into his company’s Five Guys franchises. While he was hesitant to talk at length about the closing, he did say that too many factors were out of his control with the franchisor, and he and his partners decided the best course of action was to default on the franchise agreement rather than continue moving forward under the prevailing circumstances.
Taqueria del Sol, the quick-service restaurant from Atlanta that opened only a few months ago, has closed. The restaurant, which featured Southern- and Mexican-inspired cuisine, was franchised by BRMGRP LLC, which also owns several local Five Guys Burgers franchises. Jeni Hatter, wife of Les Hatter of BRMGRP, said that the concept just didn’t catch on and that they struggled from the beginning to make it work.
Taqueria del Sol was started, in 2000, by Atlanta restaurateur Mike Klank and chef Eddie Hernandez, a native of Monterrey, Mexico, who had collaborated previously on a restaurant called Sundown Cafe, a full-service, dinner-only restaurant. The Taqueria was a response to requests that the two serve a casual lunch. There are now four Taqueria del Sol locations in Georgia, and franchises are opening in Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Florida.
Taqueria del Sol apparently enjoys a good reputation in Atlanta. In fact, Klank and Hernandez have been nominated the past two years for the Outstanding Restaurateur award from the James Beard Foundation. The food I sampled for my advance review of the Orlando restaurant, which also featured a full bar, a rarity for a quick-serve concept, was very good.
Taqueria del Sol occupied the building on South Orange Avenue that previously held an O’boys barbecue. It opened officially on October 1, 2012.