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Community working together to save Taco Boy

By Kendall Keys, James Paxson

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    MOUNT PLEASANT, Michigan (WNEM) — A mid-Michigan town is rallying behind a local staple after the restaurant was ordered by the city to shut down its drive thru, but the owner of Taco Boy in Mount Pleasant fears his business won’t survive without it because it helped him get through the pandemic.

Now people are speaking out in favor of the business.

It was a busy night for Taco Boy inside and at the Drive Thru.

“I come to the drive thru all the time, in fact I eat here more since they’ve had the drive thru, honestly,” said customer Linda Partlo.

It is the drive thru that owner Robert Baltierrez said is keeping Taco Boy successful. It came with the building when he moved years ago and says he started using it during the pandemic to increase business safely.

“I don’t know how I would be able to make it without the amount of money that we made in our drive thru last year,” Baltierrez said.

The city has told him to shut it down saying it doesn’t meet zoning codes.

“There’s always been a drive thru here. It’s been used by the prior businesses that were here, there were two of them,” Baltierrez said.

Because Taco Boy hasn’t always used the drive thru, building officials for the city say its use is not grand-fathered in.

“I absolutely am not going down without a fight,” Baltierrez said.

Baltierrez said the Mount Pleasant community has his back.

“Our community has been behind us. Like I said, we’ve been here 50 years, and we’re a staple in this community. And I’m the type of business where I give back a lot to the community,” Baltierrez said.

Now they are giving back to him.

“We have lot of the small businesses in the area supporting us. They have donated shirts, ‘save taco boy,’ they have donated face masks, we’ve had bumper stickers that have been donated… I really didn’t expect this, like I said, it’s just been outstanding what the community has done to stand behind us,” Baltierrez said.

Baltierrez said the city commission has requested the planning commission take another look. They have another meeting in the beginning of march to decide the fate of the drive thru.

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