Dining With Denise Neil

He gave up on the burger business last month, but this month he’s back – with tacos

Fast-food tacos are coming to Haysville.
Fast-food tacos are coming to Haysville. Getty Images

He tried and tried and tried to make his burger restaurant, Johhny B’s in Haysville, work.

And Willie Lusk tried everything, from serving breakfast to adding Mexican food to offering coupons to asking customers for ideas in a suggestion box.

Finally, in late December, Lusk decided that a burger restaurant in Haysville wasn’t going to work, and he closed the doors for good, saying he was likely done with the restaurant business.

Less than a month later, he’s back.

Lusk is opening a new fast-food taco restaurant in the space at 240 N. Main where he’s had Johnny B’s off and on since 2007. He’s calling it Taco Ville, which has no relation to the Taco Villa chain in Texas.

Taco Ville will have something Haysville doesn’t already have, Lusk said – cheap but good fast-food tacos and Mexican meals in the vein of Taco Shop and Taco Pronto. Lusk said he thinks that will help his chances of success.

“With Johnny B’s, we were competing with three other burger places in town,” he said. “The philosophy was that we would use quality ingredients and it was fresh made, so it would take longer and cost a little bit more. But that didn’t really seem to go here very well.”

After studying the results of a survey conducted in Haysville, which asked residents – among other things – what restaurants they’d like to have, he saw one that was doable.

“One of the most common things to come up is they wanted fast food, quick taco,” he said.

Lusk, who once managed a Taco Tico in Kentucky, had a basic knowledge of the taco business and developed his recipes from there.

His menu includes 89-cent crispy tacos, soft tacos, taco burgers, tostadas, burritos, sanchos, enchiladas and nachos. Lusk laughs when he talks about the name he invented for the cinnamon sugary things on his dessert menu. He’s calling them “cinnamon sugary things.”

The restaurant has a drive-through and will be open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. The lobby will close one hour earlier.

Lusk is trying out a soft opening starting today and hopes to be ready for the public by Monday.

For more information, call 316-361-2476.

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