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"Taco Tuesday" out at downtown restaurant due to challenge by Taco John's chain, but promotion lives on

The Iguana Mexican Grill in downtown Oklahoma City was recently ordered by attorneys with Taco John's to quit using the phrase "Taco Tuesday" for its weekly $1 taco promotions.
by Steve Lackmeyer Modified: August 3, 2010 at 1:47 pm •  Published: August 3, 2010

Taco John's — a chain that has seen at least three efforts to expand into Oklahoma fail over the past 25 years — is ordering owners of downtown's Iguana Mexican Grill to quit using the phrase "Taco Tuesday" to promote its weekly $1 dollar taco nights.

"Taco Tuesday" was introduced in 2009 to celebrate the Iguana Mexican Grill's first anniversary and was an instant hit thanks to its spread via online social media and creation of a party atmosphere on what is traditionally a slower evening for downtown restaurants.

Ryan Parrott, executive chef at the Iguana, broke the news over the weekend that a national chain, which he confirmed is Taco John's, had its attorneys send a letter demanding that the restaurant quit using the phrase.

"They have a nationwide trademark," Parrott said. "We had considered trying to fight them or work an agreement with them since they're not in Oklahoma. But we decided to stop using it and change the name. But we won't stop the event."

Parrott is asking fans on Twitter and Facebook to help come up with a new name for the promotion at the restaurant, which is located at 9 NW 9 and anchors Steve Mason's Ninth Street development. Some fans responded angrily to Taco John's and insisted they'll keep referring to the night as "Taco Tuesday."

"Obviously I don't have any control over what anybody says or thinks," Parrott said. "If they want to call it 'Taco Tuesday,' they can. I just can't."

No success in state

Taco John's, based in Cheyenne, Wyo., has 425 locations in the United States, including restaurants in all states surrounding Oklahoma. The fast food chain previously had locations at Quail Springs Mall in the 1980s, and later in Edmond and Norman. All of the attempts to expand into Oklahoma were short-lived.

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by Steve Lackmeyer
Business Reporter
Steve Lackmeyer is a reporter, columnist and author who started his career at The Oklahoman in 1990. Since then, he has won numerous awards for his coverage, which included the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, the city's...
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