By Fabian Mayer, July 23 2015 —
The Students’ Union is opening its own food vendor in MacHall serving tacos and curly fries. It will replace Smoke’s Poutinerie, which has been closed since spring.
Though not finalized, the SU is currently using the name Na’cho Taco. The vendor is set to open on September 3 and will require a $89,006 investment from the SU.
SU vice-president operations and finance Sarah Pousette said they looked for other vendors to take over the space, but were unable to find one.
“None of the ones that came forward to us would have worked, so we had to be really innovative and creative and find something new,” Pousette said. “Because the space is so small there’s a very limited number of things you can do in it.”
The vendor will have four kinds of tacos, including chicken and beef, with a roasted corn red pepper blend and mushroom as vegan options.
All meat will be halal certified and the corn tortillas will be gluten-free. Pousette said ensuring students with dietary restrictions can eat at the SU’s new vendor was one of their priorities, adding that there are currently few gluten-free or hot halal options available on campus.
“That was the number one thing that we were looking at,” Pousette said. “If we’re going to open up a place ourselves, we need to meet the needs that every student has on campus.”
SU president Levi Nilson was involved in drafting the concept.
“I’ve been hearing that people want tacos for years and years,” Nilson said. “We had a couple different options, we were talking about a few other things and tacos just stood out to me.”
Smoke’s Poutinerie opened in the spring of 2014 and was operational for a little over a year. Smoke’s could not be reached for comment on why they closed their MacHall storefront.
Pousette doesn’t believe that Smoke’s closure says anything about a vendor’s ability to operate in the location, which is not part of the main food court area.
“I think that anything can be very successful in our food court, we have so many students coming through,” Pousette said. “All of our tenants do extremely well and are happy here. I am really enthusiastic and positive that whatever goes in there in the future will do well.”
Nilson said he’s excited about the tacos, but isn’t sure if he’ll be eating at the new vendor.
“We’ll see. Probably, but I’m trying to not eat in MacHall everyday because I’m here everyday,” Nilson said.
Individual tacos will cost students $2.50–3 with combos ranging from $9.50–14.50.