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District Taco tries out different look for new restaurant in West Springfield

A new District Taco has opened in the Old Keene Mill Shopping Center (staff photo by James Jarvis)

A new District Taco quietly opened its doors last fall in the Old Keene Mill Shopping Center.

The Mexican-inspired fast-casual chain began welcoming customers at its West Springfield location in September 2023,  according to a spokesperson for District Taco.

Spanning 2,043 square feet, the restaurant at 8432 Old Keene Mill Road is co-owned by Hicham El Abbassi and Isalmou Boussaa, who also launched a District Taco franchise in McLean last August. The West Springfield restaurant operates from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day, according to District Taco’s website.

Originally from Morocco, the franchise owners started their journey in the food industry working at Five Guys before franchising several restaurants, including Five Guys.

In 2016, Abbassi and Boussaa approached District Taco with aspirations of running a franchise. Fast forward to seven years later, they now oversee 13 locations. Last August, they inked a deal to open five more outlets in Northern Virginia, including the Old Keene Mill and McLean locations.

“Their story mirrors the resilience and determination of our own CEO and co-founder of District Taco, Osiris Hoil who transformed his own opportunities and dreams into reality,” District Taco’s spokesperson told FFXnow.

District Taco, which started out as a food cart in Arlington over a decade ago, now boasts 16 locations throughout the D.C. area and Pennsylvania.

While the company says there are no specific expansion plans in the D.C. region that it can share, the spokesperson disclosed that 70 stores are currently in development nationwide, including northern New Jersey, Brooklyn, New York, and Tampa, Florida.

The menu at every District Taco offers customizable tacos, burritos, bowls, salads, and quesadillas, with vegetarian and vegan options available.

The West Springfield location, however, is unique in that the interior has more of an “industrial” design.

“We kept the existing brick infrastructure as is and it is exposed in the interior of the store in the front,” District Taco Director of Design Victoria Stratton told FFXnow. “It also has more of an open kitchen design where you can clearly see the prep area and the employees making guac right in front of you!”

So far, customer feedback for the West Springfield location has been overwhelmingly positive, according to the company.

“The new location’s success has exceeded expectations and has received a tremendous amount of positive feedback from guests,” the company spokesperson said. “We hope to continue to deliver a delicious and memorable experience to our guests, and we look forward to creating a stronger relationship with the Springfield and McLean community in the New Year.”

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