The University City fusion-taco restaurant Taco Buddha is expanding to Kirkwood. The second Taco Buddha will occupy a former Hardee’s at 11111 Manchester Road, as St. Louis magazine first reported.
Taco Buddha owner Kurt Eller tells Off the Menu he is purchasing the building at 11111 Manchester. If all goes according to plan, the sale is slated to close in early June.
Eller says the building will require “a total overhaul.”
“If we are open before October or November, I would feel lucky, or I would be surprised,” he says. “And I’m not pushing it, either. We have a lot of time built into it.”
The former Hardee’s was not the first property Eller considered for Taco Buddha’s expansion, but he calls the search process “very fortuitous.” The property at 11111 Manchester is a standalone building that he can purchase, and (according to him) more 35,000 vehicles drive past the location daily.
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The new Taco Buddha will feature the same menu as the University City original, anchored by tacos and margaritas. Jeff Friesen, that location’s executive chef and general manager, will move up to oversee both restaurants.
“We’ll come up with a good title” for Friesen, Eller says.
Taco Buddha opened in 2017 at 7405 Pershing Avenue.