R Taco, named after founder Rusty Fenton and known for its authentic street-style tacos, is officially returning to its original name: Rusty Taco.
“It feels like we’re coming home again,” says Denise Fenton, brand drector, Rusty Taco.
Rusty Taco joined the Inspire Brands family of restaurants in February. That’s when Fenton believes the wheels started turning with the idea of returning to the Rusty Taco name.
“I came into the original Rusty Taco in Dallas, Texas, late in the afternoon one day after we were acquired, and I looked up and saw Inspire Brands CEO Paul Brown with a group of people walking in the door. I had no idea they were stopping by the restaurant,” she says.
“I introduced myself, and Paul said he loved the name Rusty Taco. I think he saw this as a brand with a story behind it. There was a man named Rusty who had a dream and chased that dream. Paul is very connected to people and their story, and he took the time to find out ours.”
The Rusty Taco story began with Rusty and his wife Denise in 2010, when they opened the first location of their taco stand on Greenville Avenue in Dallas, Texas.
That’s why the official kickoff party to relaunch the Rusty Taco name will take place at the original location in Dallas on September 8. And there’s no place more fitting to celebrate than on the restaurant’s patio with Rusty’s best friend, Jayson Bales, playing live music.
“Jayson knew this dream of Rusty’s. He asked Jayson to play at the grand opening, and he played at every anniversary until Rusty passed away,” Denise says.
“He’s coming back to honor Rusty’s memory.”
Following Rusty’s passing in 2013, Rusty Taco has continued to thrive, expanding to 27 locations in six states. The brand prides itself on one of Rusty’s favorite sayings — “Tacos are the most important meal of the day”—and brings this passion to life by serving authentic street-style tacos made with fresh ingredients alongside margaritas and beer.
“In our hearts, we’ve always been Rusty Taco, so we decided to go back to our roots and continue Rusty’s legacy of delicious food with the original name,” says Tim Casey, brand head.