Taco John’s eyes Milwaukee-area expansion

Two stores opening this summer, with 10 more to follow

Taco John's store. Courtesy of Shutterstock

Last updated on May 2nd, 2022 at 11:28 am

“West-Mex” chain Taco John’s is looking to grow its local footprint to nearly 15 stores in the coming years.

Two new Taco John’s stores will open later this year, in West Milwaukee and the city of Milwaukee, with 10 additional locations coming to southeastern Wisconsin over the next three to four years.

This summer, construction will begin on the group’s new West Milwaukee restaurant, located at the former Deutsch & Sons Company site at 2172 Miller Park Way, and its new Milwaukee restaurant on West Layton Avenue near Mitchell International Airport. Each location will hire 25 to 50 employees.

Heading up this growth effort is Fargo, North Dakota-based Pentex Restaurant Group, the largest franchise operator in the Taco John’s chain, with 30 locations across six states. That includes the only existing Taco John’s in the Milwaukee area, at 317 N. Grand Ave. in Waukesha.

“Milwaukee is an area that is already familiar with the Taco’s John’s brand, but it’s underdeveloped,” said Brett Itterman, CEO of Pentex. “We have an opportunity to come in fresh, which is exciting.”

Cheyenne, Wyoming-based Taco John’s has more than 400 locations in 27 states, including 15 in Wisconsin.

All Pentex’s local stores will be stand-alone newly built locations, featuring dine-in, drive-thru, online ordering and delivery, said Itterman. Currently, Pentex has 35 employees in the Milwaukee market.

Maredithe Meyer covers restaurants, retail, tourism, and sports and entertainment. She joined BizTimes in 2015, previously as an intern reporter. She earned a degree in journalism from Marquette University in 2017. When she's not on the job, Maredithe coaches field hockey and loves exploring her favorite city on earth, Milwaukee.

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