Last "Taco Tuesday" brings crowds to local restaurant

A line formed Tuesday night to sample Iguana Grill's tacos after Taco John's issued a cease-and-desist letter to the Oklahoma City restaurant for its use of the phrase "Taco Tuesday."
BY STEVE LACKMEYER Modified: August 4, 2010 at 10:19 am •  Published: August 4, 2010

The last "Taco Tuesday" at the Iguana Mexican Grill drew hundreds of loyal customers and curious newcomers Tuesday night — most of whom shared a hatred for a faraway fast food chain they had never heard of before this week.

Ryan Parrott, executive chef at the Iguana, 9 NW 9, worked furiously from 4:30 p.m. on to keep waiting customers happy as his servers wore shirts proclaiming "Taco Tuesday" even as the restaurant faces a cease-and-desist demand from Wyoming-based Taco John's to quit using the phrase it trademarked in 1989.

By 9 p.m., Steve Mason reported Taco Tuesday night sales had hit a record — more than 10 percent over the previous busiest Tuesday night.

Loyal customers like Sid Burgess, who brought his wife and two children, said he doubts the loss of the "Taco Tuesday" brand will hurt the weekly promotion, which started in 2009 as a way to celebrate the restaurant's one-year anniversary.

Burgess, like many "Taco Tuesday" participants, is an avid user of social media, which transformed what was intended to be a short-lived promotion into a weekly festival.

"Social media is all about people building relations," Burgess said. "And this is all about the people."

Burgess said he doubts the controversy will hurt the Iguana at all, adding he felt Taco John's reminded residents how important it is to support local restaurants.

"Once you go local," Burgess said, "you won't go back."

Some first-timers who showed up Tuesday night admitted they were drawn in by the discussion that exploded on Twitter. Throughout Monday evening and during the day on Tuesday, the debate was a top topic on Twitter in central Oklahoma.

OKC Central: No More Taco Tuesday at the Iguana?

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