The First Del Taco, Yermo, California

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“Ed Hackbarth and David Jameson opened the first Del Taco in Yermo, CA in 1964. With a menu of 19¢ tacos, tostadas, fries and 24¢ cheeseburgers, Del Taco brought in $169 in sales on its first day in business – the equivalent of 900 tacos.”

Seems that the Del Taco pictured above opened in 1961, predating the one that opened in Barstow in 1964. It was originally named “House of the Taco,” er, um, “Casa del Taco.”

$169 in 1961 is about $1,500 in 2020 dollars. Not a bad first day.

[Image found here, caption here.]

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2 Responses to “The First Del Taco, Yermo, California”

  1. Leonard Jones Says:

    Not from where I live in Burnt Scrotum CA. It is northeast
    of Barstow on I-15. A lot of pot smokers lived in the
    High Desert back then. They have a secret menu item
    that you can get at any Del Taco. It is called the Stoner
    Burrito. It’s an everything but the kitchen sink burrito
    that includes French Fries. All you have to do is ask
    for it.

    One of the executives at Taco Bell who worked on the
    recipes and interior design of their franchises bailed
    and created a copycat chain called Naugles. It went
    belly up, but a few of them recently popped up in
    Orange County. When I was a restaurant cook,
    in the middle 70s, my boss knew Dick Naugle.

    Just a little southeast of the original Del Taco, there
    is another landmark restaurant just south of I-40
    which is on what’s left of Route 66. It is called the
    Baghdad Cafe and it was made famous in a film
    and a TV series. I ate there every time I did field
    work in the area/

    PS The two Naugles are located in Huntington Beach
    and Fountain Valley.

  2. Bunk Strutts Says:

    Leonard–

    Naugleburgers were awesome. Their Macho Burrito was pretty good, too, except for the time I ordered extra sour cream at the drive-thru and the guy interpreted it as “extra salt.” It was inedible. Naugles went out of business sometime in the mid/late 80s.

    A nephew or grandson of the founder found the old recipes and decided to see if the brand name still resonated. He made a trial run in Fountain Valley, opened up a store with limited hours (I think it was in or near an industrial area). On opening day, a Saturday, the line was out the door and into the parking lot. I think he ran out of tacos that day, too.

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