Haligonians answer call on social media to show struggling eatery some love
HALIFAX -- Dozens of people answered the dinner bell Tuesday in support of a struggling Mexican restaurant in Halifax's north end.
A social media message about the difficulties facing Tako Loko prompted hungry Haligonians to line up down the street for a bite to eat.
On Wednesday, there was some extra prep work taking place in the kitchen at Tako Loko.
"Sold out, everything, so we're going to do again ... everything," said owner Vicky Ruiz.
The spike in business was the result of one tweet that made the rounds on social media, stating the owner is struggling to keep the lights on and the doors open.
The result was a lineup of people down the street.
"I almost cried, I was happy, very happy because the people support us," Ruiz said. "We had Uber Eats and we couldn’t take orders from Uber Eats and we couldn’t answer the phone because the line was two blocks here."
Megan Smith and Nicole Carruthers live in the neighborhood and have been coming for months.
"It’s excellent," they say.
It was so busy Smith and Carruthers couldn't even place their usual order.
"I tried calling before five and they couldn’t take my order because they were that busy, it was awesome," Smith said.
Some who couldn't show up in person took up a neighbourhood collection and dropped the money off in a card.
The restaurant was scheduled to close at 9 p.m. but they actually ran out of food before that. Ruiz spent Wednesday morning at the grocery store, stocking up for that evening.
"It makes you proud of your local community, proud of Halifax and proud of people in the north end," Carruthers said. "A lot of challenges have come out of this pandemic. It’s really nice to see people come out and supporting each other in a challenging time."
Ruiz opened in March, just at the beginning of the pandemic. They stuck it out, but as COVID continued, the restaurant, like many others, started to struggle.
Ruiz has no plans to close her kitchen, and after the response Tuesday, staying open will be much easier.
"I am a very hard worker and the people depend on this restaurant, they need a job," Ruiz said.
Ruiz doesn't know the person who put the post on social media but she has a message for him.
"Thank you, thank you, and free tacos for him," she said.
He may, however, have to wait in line.