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Taco bout relocating: Taco John’s moving, remodeling old Holiday gas station location

Taco John's currently located just off Highway 10 near Walmart in Detroit Lakes is getting ready for a move to the old Holiday gas station location. Meagan Pittelko/Tribune1 / 2
Bristlin Construction was awarded the old Holiday gas station remodel, turning it into the new Taco John's. The new location is set to open by the end of this year. Meagan Pittelko/Tribune2 / 2

The owners of the Detroit Lakes Taco John's, Kari Melbostad and Brian Fuder, have been looking to relocate their business for a few years now so, when Holiday gas station moved across McKinley Avenue and left an empty building, the two decided to jump at the opportunity to move into town.

"We've been looking around downtown for the last couple of years," said Melbostad. "We just see the potential for a better location."

Melbostad says their current location brings in more of a seasonal business, with sales jumping up in the summer months because of the increase in Highway 10 traffic--and being near Walmart and connected to Subway helps bring in customers as well--but she says her and her brother and co-owner Fuder feel like moving down town will help even out earnings over the year.

"It's a seasonal spot (on Highway 10)," said Melbostad. "We get road traffic and when the weather is bad, sales go down."

Not to mention, Melbostad says she knows their current drive through setup "isn't ideal," and it's just time for a move.

She says she's excited for the move to the old Holiday gas station, but it's going to take a little time.

"We're pretty much gutting the whole thing—inside and out," she said.

Bristlin Construction is heading up the project, which is set to be completed by the end of the year, weather complying.

With the opening date set for December, there's much to be done, including installing a new drive through, and switching around the parking lot a bit to allow for two entrances rather than the current three. They're doing away with the wonky parking lot entrances on Frazee Street and McKinnley Avenue that are awkwardly close to the four-way intersection, which often led to traffic confusion in the past.

Customers using the drive through will be able to turn into the parking lot from Frazee Street near the hospital, wrapping around the south side of the building and exiting the parking lot onto McKinnley Avenue. And the outside will also feature a small patio area on the east side of the building.

As for the inside, it will be set up similarly to any other Taco John's layout, except this location will be a little bigger than most, which will allow for a little extra storage and office space.

And, with a bigger building, Melbostad says they're looking to expand their team too. Currently, they employ 20 to 25 people during the peak (summer) season, and drop down to 15 to 20 in the off season, but with sales hopefully evening out over the year, they're looking to even out their staff numbers too.

"Our team is growing and we're looking for more," said Melbostad.