After a year of planning, delays and headaches, Tacos al Carbon , a popular Mexican food eatery, is finally open on North Dixie Highway in Lake Worth.
“I got my permission from the city to open and I opened immediately,” said owner Victor Gonzalez, Jr. “I posted a few things on social media and pretty much that’s when people started showing up.”
Gonzalez said close to 80 people came on Tuesday after 3 p.m.
“I didn’t anticipate that many people showing up for a soft opening,” he said.
Last year, Palm Beach Post readers voted Taco al Carbon’s tacos the best in Palm Beach County .
Gonzalez said the site, which seats 65 customers, still needs work.
He needs artwork, a double door for the kitchen, outdoor seating and working outdoor lights.
“But our food is completely ready,” Gonzalez said Wednesday morning. “The kitchen is all clean, ready to operate and serve as many tacos as possible.”
“This place looks amazing,” said Mayra Barrera, a restaurant worker.
Tacos al Caron currently has 10 full-time employees, but Gonzalez said he’s still looking for cooks and prep workers.
For the rest of this week, Tacos al Carbon will be open until midnight as Gonzalez finalizes his overnight shifting crew. Next week it should be open 24 hours.
Gonzalez, 27, is no stranger to rolling up his sleeves and working hard. He served six years in the U.S. Marine Corps and for the past three years he took over managing his parents’ Tacos al Carbon restaurant on Lake Worth Road.
He called this past year a complete learning process.
“I didn’t anticipate the hold-ups and didn’t anticipate the small delays that come with construction,” he said.
One of the toughest part of this whole experience is Gonzalez not having anybody to give him direction.
“I had my parents, and they pushed me, but they didn’t know exactly what I needed to do with meeting with city officials, meeting with contractors,” he said. “Patience is hard when you want to make money and you want to serve food.”
Victor Gonzalez, Sr., told The Palm Beach Post last year he was impressed with what his son has accomplished.
“He did what needed to be done,” he said. “My son has so many fresh ideas for a new generation.”
Gonzalez said he spent roughly $100,000 on the restaurant, which has more than 3,300 square feet, easily dwarfing the 900-square-feet seating area at the Lake Worth Road eatery.
He said he did most of the construction work. “The drywall is not perfect and the walls may be a little off because I’ve only done a little bit of construction before,” he said.
Now he can concentrate solely on serving food.