Vancouverites Revitalize U.s. Taco Chain

By Glen Korstrom BusinessinVancouver July 22, 2013

Four Vancouver brothers are expanding the 35-location, California-based Chronic Tacos, which they bought for more than $1 million last year.

The Mohammeds opened a new location at 382 West Broadway earlier this month and told Business in Vancouver that they plan to open another three B.C. locations in the next year.

Since the brothers' Calivan Enterprises purchased the company from Chronic Tacos Enterprises in March 2012, they have closed several underperforming locations while opening a net total of three additional restaurants. They also bought out the Canadian master franchisor.

Dave Mohammed, Joey Mohammed and Dan Mohammed have all now returned to Vancouver from California while brother Michael Mohammed is CEO of the company and remains based in California.

"We are strategically looking for growth in Canada and then outside of California," Michael Mohammed told BIV.

"That will be Washington, Oregon, Nevada and Texas."

Mexican-style restaurants that serve fresh ingredients have been one of the fastest-growing segments of the restaurant industry.

Mucho Burrito has been expanding rapidly in B.C. in recent years.

And when Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE:CMG) opened its first B.C. location in December 2012, it caused such a buzz that lineups flowed out of the door.

Mohammed said that his restaurant resembles Chipotle with the main difference being that it is licensed.

"If you go to a Chipotle, you get good food and you leave," he said. "When you come to us, you get good food that's fresh and you can watch sports on our TVs and have a beer. We want to create that experience – but if you want to just grab and go, you can do that too."