By Clarence Plank: PNT staff writer
Taco Box owner Tom Martin says he got into the restaurant business for one big reason: He flunked out of engineering school.
A bright young man despite his failure, he sought out his father’s advice.
“When I grew up, I was raised living in hotels,” Martin said. “I went to school for hotel administration, which also dealt with restaurants. When I was 20 years old I had the choice — taking the restaurant or hotel path.”
His father advised going into the hotel business.
Martin’s father was born in one of the hotels his grandfather owned and spent 72 years in the hotel business.
“So as any good thinking 20-year-old goes,” Martin said, “(I did) the opposite of what (my) dad wanted (me) to do. I chose the restaurant business.”
From there, the rest is history.
Martin and former partner Ron Dudas purchased the Clovis Taco Box in 1970 from Jim Story. Martin opened doors at the Portales location in 1987.
“It is not traditional Mexican food, we’ve taken some thing’s and put it in a burrito,” Martin said. “When I was growing up in Cleveland, there was a restaurant that had a peanut butter burger.”
The peanut butter burger in a burrito is just one Taco Box specialty. Another is a philly cheese steak modified to fit a burrito. There’s also some more traditional Mexican fare.
“This is our 40th anniversary, and as far as I’m concerned we’re going to be here for another 40,” Martin said. “I don’t anticipate retiring anytime soon and it has been a good run.”
1208 W. 2nd Street.
136 W. 21st Street.