Oct 23, 2023 - Food and Drink

Des Moines' cult-favorite Taco Casa gets new owners

Taco Casa off East Euclid

Taco Casa at 2508 Douglas Ave.. Photo: Courtesy of Chris Pagliai

Taco Casa, the 50-year-old local restaurant with a cult following, reopens under new ownership today.

Why it matters: "I didn't want to see it go away," new owner Chris Pagliai tells Axios. "I've been eating here for 40 years."

Flashback: The Mexican fast-food restaurant first opened in Okoboji in 1966 and in Des Moines in 1973.

  • Kim Buller bought the DSM location in 1981 and operated it until now — enduring historic moments like the floods of 1993. She and her husband are retiring from the restaurant, Pagliai says.

State of play: Longtime frijoles fans don't have to worry — Pagliai is retaining all the original recipes.

  • The biggest change is switching from Pepsi to Coca-Cola products — a move that's already caused a kerfuffle, he jokes.

The bottom line: With the closure of old-school joints like George the Chili King and Millie's, Pagliai says he wasn't ready to see this one leave quite yet.

If you go: Now open daily from 11am-8pm at 2508 Douglas Ave.

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