Boston will have to live menos for awhile: City's only Taco Bell ordered shut for licensing mixup

Taco Bell in West Roxbury is shut

Robert Alvarez was stunned to find this sign on the front door today.

The Boston Licensing Board yesterday ordered the Taco Bell at 1560 VFW Parkway in West Roxbury shut because its corporate owners in Tennessee failed to pay for a 2017 food-serving license.

The franchisee has already applied for a new license, although a hearing date on the request has yet to be set, board Chairwoman Christine Pulgini said.

The shutdown was strictly because the Taco Bell - which also serves Long John Silver's fish-based offerings - never responded to the renewal letters the board sent out last October and let its license expire, not because of an incident in May in which the restaurant manager refused to let two Boston Police detectives in for an inspection, she said. The Taco Bell is owned by a franchisee in Tennessee.

Until the Taco Bell re-opens, Bostonians and Dedhamites - who can get to the location more easily than Bostonians - will have to go elsewhere for taco-like food items. The closest taco places without turning around on the parkway are Pancho's in Dedham Center and Los Amigos on Centre Street in West Roxbury. Somebody willing to endure the turnaround at Spring Street can get to the Chipotle near the Five Guys in Dedham.

At a hearing Tuesday, two detectives testified they drove up to the take-out window around midnight to conduct an inspection after hearing the place's license had not been renewed. They flashed their blue lights and showed their badges, then drove around to the front entrance, closed at the time. Instead of letting them in, the eatery manager did as he was trained and called his manager - who eventually agreed he should let the detectives in.

At the hearing, detectives and Pulgini said the franchisee should train workers to call 911 first, rather than a manager, in part because city law requires food-serving establishments to always let police in for inspections.

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Quality

This is the sort of value-add that makes UHub invaluable.

The closest taco places without turning around on the parkway are Pancho's in Dedham Center and Los Amigos on Centre Street in West Roxbury. Somebody willing to endure the turnaround at Spring Street can get to the Chipotle near the Five Guys in Dedham.

I don't know about Los Amigos

I don't know about Los Amigos, but Pancho's and Chipotle are both burrito places. If you want tacos, you probably have to go to Yucatan Tacos on Centre in West Rox/Rozzie.

Tamales?

Yucatan out in Roslindale has tamales now? And they're really good?

So far as I know...

... Yucatan has always had tamales (though they don't stand out when you look at the menus/menu board).

Whether they are "really" good -- all I know is I like them best of any I've had.

History Lesson

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There was a Taco Bell in the food court of the ill-fated Lafayette Mall in DTX in the 80s.

When did the license expire?

although a hearing date on the request has yet to be set, board Chairwoman Christine Pulgini said.

You're the (expletive) chairwoman! It's your (expletive) job to facilitate the hearing! Why didn't you just do it today? Oh wait, the $100,000 board members work three days a week.

I make a third of that and work five days a week. What a complete ripoff government is. The public gets to be denied chalupas and these people can't go do their jobs all because these lazy (expletives) can't be bothered to work on Friday.

Yes, the restaurant should have renewed the license on time, but a Friday shutdown is a complete jerkoff move.

I guess we've found the Taco Bell fan among us

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The license expired on 12/31/16. The board sends out notices in October to license holders. Try blaming some bookkeeper in Tennessee for screwing up, not the licensing board. The place has actually been operating illegally for more than six months now.

Round and round we go

Yes, the restaurant should have renewed the license on time, but a Friday shutdown is a complete jerkoff move.

We agree on the first part. Your opinion on the second?

First ...

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They ordered the shutdown on Thursday (go back, you'll see I said "yesterday" in the story).

Dick move? Maybe in your ideal world, restaurants can do whatever the hell they want and suffer no consequences (even, granted, for a less than earth shattering thing like this), but in the world of City Hall, nope, they can't just slip them in this coming Wednesday when they hold the next meeting. I'm not sure of the exact public-notice requirements (normally, they'd have to notify abutters and the like; I don't know if that applies in a case like this), but the board is required to put them on the agenda that the public can look at in advance - and that agenda went up yesterday.

Thank you

In all sincerity, that was a good answer. It also didn't increase my affinity for government one iota.

Just saying

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It won't have been operating illegally for 6 months until 6/30. If the license expired on 12/116 then it would be over 6 months

That sucks. Does that also

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That sucks. Does that also mean that the affiliate Long John Silver's is closed, too? It's in that same buildng. I must admit I was a regular customer to both. WUDDAMMIGONNADOOOI????

I heard a story that Boston

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I heard a story that Boston city hall was illegally open for 40 or 50 years because they never officially issued the building an occupancy permit when it originally opened.

I think they quietly issued a permit when they found out and didn't order it closed down until a hearing could be scheduled.

There are lots of

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There are lots of good mom and pop cook-to-order taquerias in the Boston area.
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