The Tacos 4 Life Fort Smith location will host its grand opening on Tuesday (Aug. 14), a spokesperson for the Conway-based company told Talk Business & Politics. The location at 4501 Phoenix Ave. will be the company’s fourth after opening three restaurants in Northwest Arkansas. It will start with “soft openings” on Friday (Aug. 10) and Monday (Aug. 13).
A soft opening is common on the restaurant side of the hospitality industry. It allows a brand to run test days on a select group of area customers before taking on day-to-day operations.
The Fort Smith site will feature a 26-seat area for outdoor dining. In addition to functioning as a restaurant on the business side, Tacos 4 Life’s “meal4meal” program donates to the Feed My Starving Children Initiative.
According to the site, “For every taco, quesadilla, salad or rice bowl sold, 0.22 is donated to FMSC. They have produced a scientifically developed rice pack designed to meet the needs of severely malnourished children in over 60 countries. They have consistently received the highest grades awarded for accountability and transparency. 92 percent of donations are spent on feeding programs.”
Co-founders Austin and Ashton Samuelson opened Tacos 4 Life on June 9, 2014, and as of December 2017, their company has donated more than 4 million meals. Ashton Samuelson said the Fort Smith location is expected to produce 1,000 donated meals per day, while Austin Samuelson added that Fort Smith “has been anticipating a Tacos 4 Life restaurant for quite some time and we can’t wait to officially be a part of this community.”
Tacos 4 Life has specifically asked FMSC to send meals to Swaziland, Africa, and Honduras to an organization called Children’s Cup.
“Many of the children there face economic and health challenges. The food is used as a foundation to provide medical care, education, and skills training,” the company explained.
The Fort Smith Tacos 4 Life location will be the company’s eleventh overall. It will be one of three tenants at a development site that also includes 4509 and 4511 Phoenix Avenue. Beshears Construction handled the buildout, and initial permitting for the development was $1.289 million.
Tacos 4 Life is one of a growing number of businesses along the 4000-5509 block of Phoenix Avenue. It was announced in January as part of $6 million in new business developments. Others included Gusano’s Pizza, Baskin Robbins, and Sumo Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar. Existing stores include Sodie’s Wine & Spirits, Academy Sports, Starbucks, and the stores at the Fort Smith Pavilion.