ST. LOUIS — Mission Taco Joint will open its new Kirkwood location Wednesday as a temporary fast-casual model known as Mission Taco Lite. The restaurant's existing locations — in Soulard, Central West End, Delmar and St. Charles — will reopen Monday with the same model.
"We want to ensure that we properly manage the expectations of our guests and that requires us to think through every detail of the Mission Taco Joint experience during Covid-19," CEO and co-owner Adam Tilford said in a statement. "We developed a full Mission Taco Lite protocol guide for our staff so we are taking reopening precautions very seriously."
The service model will launch at all St. Louis-area locations with an abbreviated menu and limited hours.
The Kirkwood location, at 105 E. Jefferson St., was designed by SPACE Architecture + Design and is the brand's seventh and largest location. The new location features 12,000 square feet of space, plus a front patio. Local artist Peat Wollaeger designed a mural that pays homage to the historic Kirkwood Train Station for the space.
In the future, the Kirkwood location will feature a visible tortilla production line, a 60-person event space and an arcade with a combination of vintage arcade games. In addition, the arcade space will include a separate, quick-service test kitchen for new grab-and-go items from co-owner and chef Jason Tilford. The test kitchen also will feature experimental cocktails from beverage director Kyle Harlan.
The abbreviated menu will still include Mission Taco favorites like the barbecue duck tacos and street corn. Four draft beers, a selection of canned and bottled beers, seven cocktails and several non-alcoholic options will be featured on the drink menu.
With its new Mission Taco Lite model, guests will place their orders at the bar prior to sitting down inside a limited-capacity dining room. Plexiglass screens have been installed at the ordering area, officials said. Mission Taco employees will wear branded face masks, and hand sanitizer will be available in entryways and restrooms.
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