The Tribune (SLO) - - Neighbors - ByNick­Wil­son Nick­Wil­son:805-781-7922,@Nick­Wil­sonTrib

Apop­u­lar Cal­i­for­nia fu­sion restau­rant in Morro Bay, which has ex­isted in SLO County for more than 20 years, will soon open in San Luis Obispo.

A sec­ond lo­ca­tion of Taco Temple is en­vi­sioned to open around May 1 at 1575 Calle Joaquin, though no set date has been de­ter­mined, said Patrick Lynch, the gen­eral man­ager.

Lynch said the ex­ist­ing Morro Bay restau­rant cur­rently serves about 1,000 customers per day — em­pha­siz­ing seafood and tacos, bur­ri­tos, tostadas packed with fresh veg­gies, along with its meats — at its lo­ca­tion at 2680 Main St. in the Spencer’s shop­ping cen­ter.

The new SLO restau­rant is an op­por­tu­nity for growth, which could also in­clude other eatery lo­ca­tions in the fu­ture, though

no specific com­mu­nity has been iden­ti­fied, Lynch said.

The new Taco Temple is still await­ing an in­spec­tion and fin­ish­ing touches on its roughly 5,700-square-foot build­ing with 62 park­ing spa­ces.

“We don’t plan to change the menu from the Morro Bay busi­ness be­cause we have such a fol­low­ing there and it has been a very, very suc­cess­ful model,” Lynch said.

The new restau­rant, lo­cated next to the Hamp­ton Inn & Suites, is vis­i­ble from High­way 101 at the south end of SLO.

The build­ing was pur­chased on Sept. 20, 2018, by the own­er­ship group of Gretchen Ross and her hus­band Michael Fos­ter, Jim Leage and Deborah and Jack Franklin, ac­cord­ing to an Oct. 25 Tribune story.

The new restau­rant will pro­vide more space with about 120 seats, ac­cord­ing to the cur­rent plan, com­pared to 85 seats in the Morro Bay lo­ca­tion.

“We have passed four in­spec­tions and have one more still to go be­fore open­ing,” Lynch said.

Menu items in­clude sweet potato en­chi­ladas, cala­mari tacos, scal­lop bur­ri­tos, ahi poke ap­pe­tizer and the killer Alaskan cod bur­rito.

Price for meal items range from about $8 to $28, Lynch said. Por­tions are known to be siz­able, he said.

Pop­u­lar dessert items in­clude car­rot cake and flan, as well as a va­ri­ety of baked op­tions. The restau­rant’s pas­try chef is Ni­cole Davis.

The head chef of the restau­rant is Peter Ir­win, a 36year food in­dus­try pro­fes­sional, who has worked at mul­ti­ple lo­cal restau­rants in­clud­ing Guiseppe’s Ital­ian Restau­rant, Big Sky Cafe and The Dutch­man in Morro Bay.

Lynch said that customers — in­clud­ing some who travel from the San Joaquin Val­ley and Santa Bar­bara for reg­u­lar meals — or­der a sig­nif­i­cant percentage of meals from the restau­rant’s daily spe­cial op­tions.

Features of the build­ing — dec­o­rated in the restau­rant’s fa­mil­iar green, white, red and yel­low col­ors (adopted from the logo) — in­clude a sep­a­rate take­out wing of the space to make the in-and-out traf­fic more ef­fi­cient. The own­ers have spent the past six months plan­ning and im­ple­ment­ing changes such as code-com­pli­ant re­strooms (in­clud­ing a uni­sex fa­cil­ity and a di­a­per-change area), as well as ac­ces­si­bil­ity for hand­i­capped customers busi­ness-wide.

JOEJOHNSTON jjohn­[email protected]­bune­news.com


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