On August 20, 1974, Rod combined the work ethic he learned through athletics and under Coach Bryant with earlier restaurant experience to create Tuscaloosa’s most unique restaurant, Taco Casa. Trying a completely new concept, Taco Casa offered the finest and freshest ingredients prepared only after the customer ordered. This was to ensure hot, fresh, delicious food that was always made to order. Taco Casa quickly became a landmark and was where most of Tuscaloosa ate their first taco.
The college students in Tuscaloosa seemed to love Taco Casa so much that the next target became Auburn. Once opened it was clear that the response to expansion was overwhelming and Rod quickly learned that two stores in the Tuscaloosa area were not enough. In August of 1980, the University Mall opened to great fanfare and so did Taco Casa in the food court. Within the year all freestanding stores added a revolutionary new concept, a drive-through. Taco Casa made an innovation on this as well, being the first to have a covered canopy over both the ordering menu and the drive-through window.
Throughout the years Taco Casa has made an impression on such a large number of people that we often have customers ship burritos across the country. The demand for Taco Casa in other areas is so large that Rod receives weekly calls requesting franchise information.
On April 27, 2011, Tuscaloosa was forever changed when a devastating F4 tornado ripped a path of destruction through the heart of Tuscaloosa. Although the 15th Street location took a direct hit and was mostly destroyed, all of the employees in the store were completely unharmed. Taco Casa served as a beacon of renewal and hope when on October 17, 2011, within 173 days of the disaster, it was the first of the destroyed businesses to be rebuilt and reopened. For all residents of Tuscaloosa and former students of The University of Alabama, Taco Casa has solidified a place in their hearts as a landmark and a destination for quality food. Since 1974, thousands of people have come and gone through the halls of the University of Alabama and the streets of Tuscaloosa, however, the constant has always been the great tasting tacos and award-winning sweet tea found Under the Biggest Cactus in Town. The quality, taste, and tradition that truly are Tuscaloosa.