GREENWOOD, Ind. — Roscoe's Tacos is a small restaurant in Greenwood that has been around for 25 years and has built up a large and very dedicated following of customers.
When the coronavirus restrictions hit back in March, owners Rita and Roscoe Townsend sent out a letter announcing they were closing their doors for good because they couldn’t stay afloat on take-out only.
"We're too small. We just couldn’t do it. It was scary," Rita said.
"When you lose half of the revenue, it's not sustainable for any restaurant," Roscoe said.
Rita said there were plenty of tears when the couple announced their plans to close the business, but many fans on the south side rallied behind their favorite mom-and-pop Mexican restaurant. One customer went so far as to offer custom T-shirts, stickers and hoodies with the Roscoe's Tacos logo with proceeds going to help them stay afloat until they could reopen.
"A lot of it was the community sending me a message, saying how much they missed us and telling the stories about how they grew up here, now their kids are coming in, how special it was and how sad they were," Rita said. "So, we get a little bit of money from friends and family, who had helped us. There was a fundraiser from a customer, and we just decided, 'Let's do this! Let's serve the community Roscoe's Tacos again.'"
This was a total grassroots effort by customers to come to the aid of their business.
"I received an email from a guy named Alex," Roscoe said, holding back his emotions. "He really laid it out for me. It really got to me."
"He read [the email] to all of us," Rita said. "We were all just crying. People have been very kind."
With the help of government small business loans and the turnout of their loyal customers, Roscoe's Tacos will be reopening their Greenwood location in mid-July. The Franklin and Bluff Road locations will remained closed.
"You can't get it anywhere else," Roscoe said. "And it's not fair to take it away."