FORT WAYNE, Indiana (WANE) — The man behind Famous Taco isn’t giving up.
Local restaurateur Martin Quintana was ready to serve up tacos at his new location at 6626 W. Jefferson Blvd. When his request was denied at a meeting of the Fort Wayne Plan Commission last November.
Stuck in an 11,000-square-foot mall in a prime location on West Jefferson Boulevard, Quintana decided to challenge the Plan Commission’s decision in court.
People already know this restaurant owner as the owner of the Famous Taco in North Clinton, Dos Margaritas and the former owner of Burrito Colonial.
Quintana and his attorney, Jason Kuchmay, appeared on Tuesday before Allen Superior Court Judge Craig Popeye, who will give his opinion on the matter on Oct. 20.
Quintana believed he had submitted the application correctly despite a history of downtime and assumptions on Quintana’s part that did not properly align with the plan committee.
The property was originally a house and intended for residential use. Quintana then added a 9,000-square-foot garage. Quintana later succeeded in changing the regions into commercial ones.
The Covington Creek Condominium Association also got upset and fought over having any kind of restaurants. Were worried about the noise, loud music at all hours and traffic.
Last fall, an agreement was reached between the association and Quintana. Quintana agreed to limit the restaurant’s operating hours between 10:30 a.m. and 10 p.m. and not play loud music on outdoor speakers or provide any outdoor seating, much like the famous taco restaurant on North Clinton Street. He also agreed that there was no drive-through window.
The apartments are located behind Quintana Plaza, which received original building approval in August 2019.
Fort Wayne City Council approves zoning change from residential to commercial, but planning board says documents submitted “inconsistent” with zoning law
On Tuesday, Kochmai rejected a proposal by Robert Ehrenman, a lawyer for the plan committee, to reopen the case or send it back to the plan committee. He said that Quintana had fulfilled the Plan Commission’s requirements, and in refusing him, the Plan Commission had acted “capriciously.”
Ehrenman said that simply because the association signed a commitment with Quintana and “no one attended the (plan committee) meeting” does not make the application valid. The request “does not mention Fort Wayne law.”
As the court session concluded, Popeye told the attorneys and Quintana that he had “worked hard over Labor Day” on the case.
“So is it at a dead end then? Don’t work?” Popeye asked.
For now, the new one-story brick-and-mortar and red-brick Quintana Plaza building lies there, awaiting its fate.