Dining With Denise Neil

With recent closing, Wichita has just one location of this fast-food chain left

A sign posted in the door at the Central and Hillside Taco Bueno announces that it closed on Monday.
A sign posted in the door at the Central and Hillside Taco Bueno announces that it closed on Monday. The Wichita Eagle

During its heyday in the mid-2000s, Taco Bueno was operating six different fast-food restaurants in Wichita.

Now, it’s down to just one.

The Taco Bueno at Central and Hillside, which first opened in August 2005, quietly closed earlier this week. A sign on the door reads: “We regret to inform you that as of September 10th, this restaurant has closed. We are extremely grateful to our loyal guests as well as the team members, both past and present.”

The sign encourages customers to visit the city’s last remaining Taco Bueno, which is at 3530 N. Rock Road. It was also the chain’s first Wichita restaurant, opening in 2004.

This week, the Dallas-based chain closed 16 restaurants in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri. Before that, it was operating 179 stores.

Taco Bueno first opened on North Rock Road then in 2005 expanded to stores at Central and Tyler, Maple and West, and Central and Hillside. South Rock Road and North Maize Road also were added over the next several years.

The North Maize Road store was the first to go in 2007, and all but the North Rock Road and Central and Hillside stores followed suit.

The store at West and Maple, where Dunkin’ Donuts now operates, closed in 2012 after a carelessly tossed cigarette started a fire that caused an estimated $200,000 in damage.

(FILE VIDEO -- JANUARY 26, 2018) A group of three men ate at more than 40 restaurants to determine the best taco in town. They chronicled their adventures in a blog and on Facebook.

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