Saturday, August 16, 2008
Del Taco is a staple in the southwest, and more than once attempted to gain the
national exposure of Taco Bell. Unfortunately, this did not seem to work out so well for the company, which has retracted completely to its core market with a few exceptions. Today, the only Del Taco remaining in Georgia is on St. Simons Island, which as of recent still looks exactly the same as its initial entry into Georgia.
Del Taco's grand entry into Georgia came in 1980 where it opened many, many locations across the state. While it was initially quite successful, its fortunes began to wane across the state by the end of the 1980's. In 1992, after only 12 years, every single Del Taco closed with exception to St Simons, meaning lots of vacant restaurants and an end to an era where Georgians were offered an alternative to Taco Bell for fast-food Mexican.
Alas! Del Taco wasn't through with the Peach State yet! In 1995, it came back but this time with a different logo and all new locations. The new locations were almost all joint locations with Mrs. Winner's, which to those not from Georgia is a local chicken restaurant. The only free-standing one to knowledge was in the Food Court at North Point Mall, which actually may have been there longer. Unfortunately, this new concept of two in one lasted even less long than the previous, and the locations all fell into poor management by the end of the decade. By late 2001, Del Taco was removed from all the Mrs. Winner's restaurants that it shared, now all just Mrs. Winner's.
Today, unless you're visiting St. Simons Island, Del Taco is not on the menu in Georgia. Nevertheless, a few of its scars remain including this notable one in the photos here in Cedartown, GA. Until recently, this location looked like it had just closed despite being closed over a decade. In fact, the sign continued to read "Closed. Thanks For 12 Great Years" with absolutely no vandalism or missing letters for at least a decade. Most of the others have been converted to other uses or demolished.