A new Taco John’s in Milan is dedicated to a family man who had a dream.
The ribbon-cutting was Monday for the fourth Taco John’s in the Quad Cities that’s the first in Milan.
A line of cars stretching a block long came out to try and get a golden ticket for free food for a year.
Will Steele, the owner, has fond memories of going to Taco John’s with his father and it was always his father’s dream to bring one to Milan.
After Will’s father died in an accident this past October, Will knew he had to follow through on his father’s dream.
“My father has always been obsessed with Taco John’s,” Steele said. “All my childhood memories involve driving to Davenport or to SouthPark Mall to get Taco John’s and churros just because he loved it so much.”
“He tried really hard to get one of them to open in Milan, but no one wanted to open one here so he said ‘Well heck, I’ll do it myself.'”
Will Steele’s father, Tom, bought into the Taco John’s franchise to bring one to Milan. But in October, Tom had a tragic accident while doing construction and passed away.
Will made sure to carry on his father’s wishes and open the restaurant.
“It’s bittersweet. It’s a lot of sad memories, wishing he was here, so it’s a feeling of pride that we accomplished this and do this thing he wanted to do,” Steele said. “And we are feeling like we are fulfilling his legacy and doing what he wanted to do, running this very nice clean restaurant just like he wanted to.”
Steele says his father was a wonderful person who owned many businesses and always looked out for people.
“The man was a real workaholic who would only take breaks to spend time with his family. There was really no other downtime in his life,” Steele said.
It was an emotional day for Will, but also a very proud one. Taco John’s is something the whole family shared a love for, Steele said.
“Working construction like I used to, like our whole family does, we travel a lot and I’ve been known for going far out of my way to go to the nearest Taco John’s that I can.”