Victor Gonzalez, Jr. is anxious to open a new Tacos al Carbon in the old Dunkin Donuts site on North Dixie Highway in Lake Worth, but the city’s building division is in no such rush.
“We want to open as soon as possible, but we understand there’s a process,” Gonzalez said. “If you ask me, I’d have the place open in 30 days. But I’m new to this.”
Last year, Palm Beach Post readers voted Taco al Carbon’s tacos the best in Palm Beach County.
Gonzalez, who said he’s spending about $100,000 to renovate the building, is waiting on a permit for interior renovations and improvements, according to William Waters, the city’s community sustainability director.
That type of permit includes building, electric, plumbing and fire plan reviews. The plans, Waters said, are with the Palm Beach County Fire Review.
Gonzalez said he’s expecting the permit any day.
“We’re past 35 days now,” he said.
Once he gets the permit, Gonzalez can start the plumbing and electric work inside the 3,600-square-foot site. He has already ripped up the floors and replaced some dry walls.
“Everything we’ve done so far is minor and cosmetic,” Gonzalez said.
The new site, the company’s fifth, dwarfs the 900-square-foot seating area at the restaurant on Military Trail and Lake Worth Road.
Gonzalez took over running the popular Mexican eatery from his parents. He said he’s looking forward to putting his own stamp on the restaurant by updating it and making it more modern.
“This will be my version of what my parents have been doing,” he said. “I want to create a brand.”
Gonzalez also wants the new site to be open 24 hours, seven days a week with a take-out window.
“I’m sure the city will have some concerns, but we’re willing to work with them on whatever we need to do,” Gonzalez said.
Waters said Gonzalez does not need city approval to stay open 24 hours.
“We would like to know the hours of operation, but the city has no formal regulations limiting hours of operation for any business,” Waters said.
Gonzalez originally said he was concerned about having only 15 parking spaces and was considering adding more.
“We’re just going to try to open up and see how fast we can get people in and out,” he said. “We’ll see if we need to reach out to the owner of the lot right up the street to see if we can work something out.”
Ariana Peters, managing partner for Peters Development, which owns the site, said Gonzalez has more than enough spaces for the restaurant concept they have.
Gonzalez, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, just can’t can’t wait to start serving tacos, saying that will happen this year.
“Every time I set a date, it gets pushed back,” Gonzalez said. “I’m just looking forward to opening up and serving Lake Worth.”