An Open Letter to Mr. Taco in Lansing: Are We Beefing Right Now?
Mr. Taco, we need to talk. We feel like we may have offended you and we owe you an explanation. You have a very dedicated, very patient following in the Lansing area and we don't want to be the ones to tarnish that.
We understand, it's tough being a local business in these "unprecedented" times. We also understand, though, that rumors of your establishment closing are not exactly new.
Now, we are curious why our previous reporting has seemed to stir up some beef?
December 2021: We Questioned if Mr. Taco Was Closing for Real
On December 23rd, 2021 I wrote an article, after seeing rumblings in the Lansing Foodies Facebook group, asking if you were closing.
These "rumors" were not just pulled out of anywhere, but from posts shared by your owner, Bill Bonofiglo.
In one entry, posted on December 14th, "it's no secret Mr. Taco will be sold or will be forced to close..." was shared by Bonofiglo himself.
Again, on December 21st, the possibility of Mr. Taco's final days was mentioned in another post by Bonofiglo that stated "unless some things change, there are only a few days left for us to stay open":
Now, in my reporting on the speculation, I ended the article with "while we cannot confirm or give you solid dates/hours going further..." Correct me if I'm wrong, but that seemed pretty open-ended and was not "falsely reporting" that you were closed.
March 2022: Mr. Taco and Friends Let Us Know They Are Not Closed
Fast-forward to more recently, on March 1st, 2022, we began receiving direct messages from people to the 97.5 Facebook Page demanding we correct our reporting that Mr. Taco had closed.
Confused, as the article they were referencing was written three months before, we did a bit of digging and ended up finding a Tweet from Mr. Taco Watcher (@TacoWatcher) that gave us some more insight:
For context, a gallery at the end of the Taco Bell article did feature the previous reporting on Mr. Taco and we believe this is where Bonofiglo was under the impression this was new reporting. That reference to Mr. Taco has since been removed to avoid any further confusion.
Not fully understanding the apparent severity of what we had done to you, Mr. Taco, I looked further into replies to Mr. Taco Watcher's tweet. They alluded to your hours of operation making it so we were not too far off base, if our reporting even did say you were closed, like we are being accused of.
Also is it too much to assume that if you sell, Mr. Taco would be closed and so that's worth asking? Sorry, one step at a time here.
Why Would We Have so Wrongly Believed Mr. Taco Was Closed?
I'll admit, Mr. Taco, I should have checked back in sooner to see how you're doing. I've been apologizing for being a bad friend lately, and it's something I've been working on. I'm sorry if we made you feel like we didn't care. I'm sorry if we hurt your feelings.
However, can you really blame us?
The fact that the Mr. Taco Watcher Twitter exists with the bio "Is Mr. Taco Open Today? Why or Why Not?" and there is a private Mr. Taco Facebook group for your owner to share if you are open or closed on any given day, it's a bit of a different approach than we are used to when it comes to deciding where to eat.
Meanwhile, our reporting from back in December is not the first time we (and the community) have speculated on whether or not you were closing.
In fact, here's a look at every article on our website that mentions you, Mr. Taco, in the headline:
- 2016: "Is Mr. Taco Back in Lansing?"
- 2018: "Mr. Taco is Finally Opening"
- 2018: "Mr. Taco Finally Re-Opened on Friday in Lansing"
- 2019: "Mr. Taco in Lansing Closed...For Now"
- 2020: "Someone Attacked the Mr. Taco Building in Lansing"
- 2021: "Lansing, Michigan Food Lovers: is Mr. Taco Closing for Good?"
Aside from knowing in 2019 that you were closed for a "reboot" as the Lansing State Journal also reported, we are sensing a bit of a theme here. We have never pulled speculation of your status as a business out of thin air, but from other sources, including yourselves.
Our "Cheerful Correction" and Apologies to Mr. Taco
We've done all of this, Mr. Taco, to explain ourselves a bit and hopefully help you understand that mixed-messaging gets confusing for everyone, including us radio folks.
We are sorry for looking at the information you and your owner were giving the public (or at least those in your private Facebook group) and must have "miss understood" the words "there are only a few days left for us to stay open" (as posted by Bonofiglo on December 21st).
At the end of the day, our point here is to let everyone else know that MR. TACO IS OPEN. Per the hours on Google, last updated three weeks ago, they are ONLY closed Saturday through Thursday and are OPEN on FRIDAYS from 11 AM to 6 PM...unless you tell folks otherwise on Facebook.
We look forward to your "cheerful" response.