Luis Jacobo likes the location of Tucan Tacos, which will be in the old Dickey’s Barbecue Pit location on Webb Road.
He‘s happy with the size of the space, the visibility and the parking lot.
There’s one other thing he likes.
He’ll be able to sell alcoholic beverages, which is no small consideration.
The restaurant, at 2120 N. Webb Road, will open around Jan. 1. Signs on the front point out that, in addition to taco boxes and tortillas, the restaurant will offer margaritas and micheladas.
Jacobo and his family have owned El Tucan Express in Conestoga Mall for a decade. The business was started by his parents, Anastacio and Silvia Jacobo.
Luis hasn’t decided what to do yet with El Tucan Express. There’s a slight chance it may remain open, he says.
But the restaurant wouldn’t be able to sell alcohol at the mall under the current setup.
To serve alcohol, Jacobo would need public restrooms. Currently, the only bathroom at El Tucan Express is a unisex restroom for employees.
In order to have public restrooms, El Tucan Express would have to move to the former home of Max MacGruder’s, which has been vacant for many years, or the former location of Cherry Berry.
One of the Conestoga Mall restaurants that did serve alcohol was Flippin’ Chicken.
At this point, Jacobo is not really interested in his options at the mall.
El Tucan Express covers 1,400 square feet. The old Dickey’s spot, in Starwood Centre, totals 4,500 square feet.
Grand Island has 17 classes of liquor licenses.
Under the class Jacobo obtained, customers will be able to buy drinks at the restaurant and “they could also take a bottle home,” he said.
The ability to sell alcohol makes a big difference in the bottom line of most restaurants.
Ownership of a liquor license also determines a restaurant’s operating hours.
In Grand Island, no alcoholic beverages, including beer, may be sold by retail outlets or dispensed between 6 a.m. and noon on Sundays.
That requirement is the reason some restaurants open on noon Sundays. Experienced customers know the doors might open a little early, but they won’t be able to buy an alcoholic beverage until the clock strikes noon.
Businesses also point to the availability of alcohol as a selling point. Some Pizza Huts put up posters in their windows, noting that they sell and deliver beer.