By Kayla Hill, Howard University News Service
Washington, D.C.—Striving to bring something new and different to the community, Francisco Ferrufino, owner and chef, and his partners established restaurant “Taco City” in October 2018 in Southeast, DC. According to The New American Economy, in 2017 there were 103,989 immigrant entrepreneurs in the Washington, DC metro area. As a family business, Ferrufino owns the restaurant with his wife, and other members of his family. Ferrufino moved to the U.S. in 2007 from El Salvador, went to culinary school, and has been involved in the food industry for over 30 years.
Unlike other restaurants in the neighborhood, Taco City brings Mexican culture to the community with their style of tacos made with fresh tortillas, drinks, and more. It’s become a hotspot in Southeast D.C. With only a year of establishment, Ferrufino explained the business has attracted many loyal customers who come “3 to 4 times a week”.
In response to how hard it was to establish the business in this community, Ferrufino said, “It was very hard to and trying to get customers.”
He described that there were previously three restaurants at that location that didn’t last long before they took over. He also said many customers just went to Las Pascitos, a well known Salvadorian restaurant in the neighborhood, because that was what they knew of in the neighborhood.
Being a new restaurant in the community can be challenging. Ferrufino gave insight on how they gained their customers.
“We created specials, a happy hour menu, and Taco Tuesday with $2 tacos,” he said. Their unique specials and menu brought a lot of customers when developing their business.
Manager and bartender, Jesűs, who didn’t want to disclose his last name, said he enjoyed working at Taco City and being in the community.
“I like interacting with people and when they come in and talk,” he said. He mentioned he is very friendly and the people in the neighborhood are as well.