Though we once described our feelings for Del Taco thusly:
Don’t care how late it is or hungry we are, we will never say yes to the fast food version of rib-jobbing a sweaty Mexican donkey ride guy.
…we do appreciate the unique design of the “brown nipple of Midtown“, and as such, we were a little sad to hear the news that the Del Taco might be leveled for some generic retail building.
The St. Louis Land Clearance Redevelopment Authority approved a blighting and redevelopment plan for the building, which was built to be a Phillips 66 gas station. The plan, said LCRA staffer Dale Ruthsatz, is to knock down the Del Taco replace it with a more pedestrian-oriented retail building of 3,500 to 7,000 square feet.
Let us gaze in to our magic future-telling orb and give you a rundown of how this is going to go down: They’ll describe the impetus to demolish this “landmark” with great purpose! “We’ll have great places to shop for the students of SLU and all midtown residents!” they’ll say. The building will go up with brick and big glass front doors, and soon after, plenty of “lease me!” signs. A few decent places may move in at first, Jimmy John’s may move (since their current nearby location sucks), or some other sandwich place will step up, but it won’t be long before the retail slots will be filled with at least two “fast cash” places with random drunks and homeless guys sitting in the parking lot at all times of the day. The reason for the precipitous fall of retail paradise? That old Del Taco will haunt the space like an indian burial ground, but rather than ghosts, every building will smell like farts. Stale fart smell from late night burritos long since passed doesn’t work for sandwich places, but check cashing places can deal with it since their own customers’ stink of failure tends to cover up pretty much anything else. It’s like a sad reverse Febreze.