IU Kokomo student opening Taco John's in Peru

Ben Van Baalen stands where he's opening a Taco John's in Peru, Indiana. (Photo provided via the Lebanon Reporter)
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PERU, Ind. (WTHR) — A popular restaurant will soon find new life in Miami County again.

A 20-year-old IU Kokomo student is opening a Taco John's franchise in Peru, Indiana. Ben Van Baalen is a Peru native who said it's been his lifelong dream to help his community.

"There's a lot of nostalgia for Taco John's in Peru," Van Baalen told the Lebanon Reporter.

Taco John's was a popular restaurant in Peru from the 1970s until it closed in 2014 when the owner couldn't keep it up.

"I think it still has a lot of potential here and people still really like it," Van Baalen said.

He posted about his new endeavor on Facebook, and the community's response has been outstanding.

Construction is already underway for the new restaurant, set to open in spring of 2020.

There are only three current Indiana Taco John's locations. Two in Evansville and one in Lebanon.

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