I'm wandering around in downtown Olympia, as I often do, and notice that the Taco Del Mar across the street from Sylvester Park is closed. Upon further inspection of their front door I notice that there is some legal document on the door demanding the rent, which was way overdue, be paid. Not long ago the Quiznos near B&B went belly up. Never did like Quiznos, and I never set foot in the Taco Del Mar. I'm not really into franchise operations. I guess many that frequent downtown share my views as the Taco Del Mar never seemed to have many diners. I guess some will blame the closure of these two establishments on the homeless, the panhandlers, the young, the smoking ban, or some other reason. I'm thinking that franchise operations are not a good fit for downtown Olympia. If you want franchise food you can go to Lacey or Tumwater. If you want food prepared by the owner, or owner's family, downtown Olympia is your bet.
A Taco Del Mar costs around a quarter of a million dollars to open. Franchise fees, required equipment, required supplies and the like make this one expensive proposition for anyone opening one. I feel bad for those that thought downtown Olympia was a good place for a franchise operation. I would have told them otherwise, and it would only have cost them a cup of coffee.
Perhaps locating the Taco Del Mar closer to the capitol campus would have made it work. The Subway there seems to be doing well, but I suspect it, too, is not long for this world. I only hope Meconi's will find another location when their building comes down. Which brings me to another point, why is the Meconi's building being torn down. From my perspective it is the perfect southern anchor for downtown Olympia. We still have a way to go in reaching that point, but now it seems pointless. Sadly downtown seems to end, at the southern end, at the former Ramada hotel. What an eyesore, not to mention a building filled with transients. Without a doubt we don't need the Ramada, or what ever it is called today. It is one ugly building, to be sure. It could be rehabilitated if it were turned into non-transient housing, but that is the subject of another blog for me.