Aug 3, 2023 - Business

Cook Out’s mysterious taco restaurant concept is coming to University City

Cook Out

Photo: Laura Barrero/Axios

Fast-food chain Cook Out appears to be opening more of its mysterious “Roo” restaurants in Charlotte and Raleigh.

Driving the news: The Thomasville-based company filed a permit with the city of Charlotte in May for a 1,820-square-foot “Taco Roo’s” drive-thru on North Tryon, on the same property as the existing Cook Out across from UNC Charlotte.

  • The restaurant chain also filed in Raleigh to renovate a former KFC into a “Roo’s Chicken” on New Bern Avenue, also next to a Cook Out.

Why it matters: Cook Out has a cult-like following in North Carolina. People here obsess over the brand’s versatile trays and lengthy milkshake menu. Now, it looks like the company plans to expand with this “Roo” restaurant concept.

Yes, but: The chain’s management has kept quiet about its “Taco Roos” in Wilmington; the restaurant opened briefly in 2020 and has since reverted to a Cook Out.

  • Cook Out did not respond to requests to comment for this story.

The intrigue: When Cook Out first debuted its “Roo’s” signage in Wilmington, the restaurant quickly turned into a joke. Months passed, but the restaurant didn’t open or answer questions.

  • A parody social media page for the restaurant emerged, and the phone number listed on Google for the restaurant rang to a pranked UNCW student.

Details: It’s unclear where the “Taco Roo’s” will be built in Charlotte — whether it’s an extension of the existing Cook Out or a second drive-thru. There are also no details on the “Taco Roo’s” menu, although the “Taco Roo’s” in Wilmington temporarily sold walking tacos out of Dorito bags, as well as Cook Out items.

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