Odd News

Indiana judge rules tacos are 'Mexican-style sandwiches'

By Ben Hooper   |   May 15, 2024 at 12:25 PM

May 15 (UPI) -- An Indiana judge resolved a legal dispute surrounding a Fort Wayne strip mall by ruling that tacos and burritos "are Mexican-style sandwiches."

Martin Quintana, the developer behind the new Quintana Plaza strip mall on Jefferson Boulevard in Fort Wayne, entered into a written agreement with the Covington Creek Condominium Association that was intended to keep fast food restaurants from opening in the block of stores.

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The agreement allowed for the opening of "made-to-order" sandwich restaurants, with Subway and Jimmy John's listed as examples, but barred "traditional fast food restaurants such as McDonald's, Arby's and Wendy's."

The agreement also prohibited any allowed restaurants from offering outdoor seating, drive-through service or alcoholic beverages.

Quintana struck a deal in 2022 to open a location of locally-owned eatery The Famous Taco in the strip mall, and the condo association approved an amendment to allow the restaurant, but the Allen County Plan Commission rejected the amendment, citing the earlier written agreement.

The dispute was brought before Allen Superior Judge Craig J. Bobay, who ruled that the opening of the Mexican restaurant would not require the original agreement to be amended at all.

Bobay wrote: "The proposed Famous Taco restaurant would serve made-to-order tacos, burritos and other Mexican-style food, and would not have outdoor seating, drive through service or serve alcohol. The Court agrees with Quintana that tacos and burritos are Mexican style sandwiches, and the original Written Commitment does not restrict potential restaurants to only American cuisine-style sandwiches."

Bobay said the original agreement would also apply to made-to-order restaurants offering Greek gyros, Indian naan wraps or Vietnamese Banh mi.

The Famous Taco already has equipment and signage in place at the strip mall, but it was not yet clear when the eatery would open.