Photo By Dan Whisenhunt
Decatur, GA — The lights are out at Taco Mac on West Ponce de Leon Avenue in Decatur after 22 years in business.
The restaurant abruptly closed on Tuesday, Sept. 19. The closure notice said the restaurant’s lease was expiring but gave no other information about the reason for the closure. A message left with a spokesperson for the company Wednesday evening was not immediately returned. The notice on the door said the company is working to find all the employees at the Decatur location new positions elsewhere.
“We appreciate all the support the community has given us over the years and have loved serving each one of you,” the notice says.
Taco Mac reopened in 2013 after an extensive renovation and had an advantage over other businesses downtown: dedicated parking.
That parking lot was empty Wednesday, and there wasn’t anyone inside the store when a reporter visited.
In a statement, Taco Mac confirmed the restaurant is finding new positions for the employees at the Decatur location, and is looking forward to welcoming guests at other locations. Although it’s unclear why the restaurant closed. Here is the full statement from Taco Mac:
“Taco Mac has enjoyed serving the Decatur community for over 20 years, and we have made many great memories with our guests, team members, and the local community. While it is always a difficult decision to close a restaurant, we are committed to finding immediate placements for all eligible managers and team members, and we look forward to welcoming guests at nearby Taco Mac locations, including Virginia-Highland and Midtown.
Going forward, we will continue to invest in our other 27 restaurants and maintain our commitment to growing the brand into new markets. Since 2020, we have opened new restaurants in Lawrenceville, Hiram, Gainesville, Dawsonville, and Pelham, AL. We are also excited to announce that we will be opening new locations in Macon and Conyers in the next several months.”
It’s not the only recent and unexpected business closure in Decatur that is leaving a large, empty building in the city’s business district. The Baby Kroger closed a year ago and is still boarded up.
Decatur Mayor Patti Garrett first learned of the closure when Decaturish contacted her. She said that Taco Mac opened the same year she moved to Decatur in 2001.
“Obviously, we hate to lose a business,” Garrett said. “We have a recruitment strategy, part of our downtown master plan is to find the best fit for businesses that will work in the city of Decatur. Sometimes we know when things will be closing. Sometimes we don’t have any sort of forewarning.”
Garrett noted there are new businesses moving in, including new coffee shops and a new restaurant. Still, she hadn’t seen any signs the Decatur Taco Mac was on the verge of closing. She saw a “Help Wanted” sign the other day.
“It has been an important corner business there that we’ll certainly miss having as part of the downtown options,” Garrett said. “… It’s a loss for the community. I certainly hate to see a business that’s been here over 20 years decide to close its doors.”
Article by Decaturish.