Willy Taco, a Mexican fusion restaurant born in Spartanburg, on Tuesday opened its second location in the former feed and seed store at 217 Laurens Road in Greenville.
Diners poured into the eatery for lunch on Wednesday, eager to sample its selection of tacos, tortas (a kind of sandwich) and specialty drinks.
The concept was started about three years ago by Spartanburg chef William Cribb, his brother, Kenneth Cribb and their friends, Richard Heatly, Eric Holman and Bill Burton.
William Cribb was named one of South Carolina’s Chef Ambassadors for 2017 on Dec. 8.
The owners signed a lease on the 9,000-square-foot building in Greenville this past April and have renovated the space for their new 6,500-square-foot location.
The 200-seat restaurant is about twice the size of the original Willy Taco at 930 E. Main St. in Spartanburg.
Heatly said about 85 employees have been hired so far for the store and the owners are still hiring.
“It feels great,” Heatly said. “We’re really excited to be able to grow the Willy Taco brand. It started in Spartanburg. We’re all Upstate guys. Through the hard work of the folks who clock in and out every, this is possible. We call them our ‘familia,’ our family. That’s what they are.”
Chris Olson, manager of the Greenville store, said the restaurant has opened with a new menu that will soon be rolled out at the Spartanburg location. It includes many dishes and drinks from the original menu and a few new ones.
The store will operate from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sundays. It will be closed on Mondays.
For more information, visit willytaco.com.