Honest Tom’s in UCity Will Close and Become … A Mexican Restaurant
A year after Tom McCusker's taco shop went plant-based, he's selling to longtime employees in order to focus on new ventures: hemp farming and a specialty produce business.
Last summer, Honest Tom’s Taco Shop proprietor Tom McCusker announced that his restaurant would transition to a completely plant-based menu. He also began selling hard-to-find tropical fruits like soursoup and seeded watermelons from a stand in the store and making and selling CBD oil at the shop.
Today, McCusker announced that he’s getting out of the restaurant business entirely. Honest Tom’s Plant-Based Taco Shop, as it’s currently known, will close at the end of this month. A group of his longtime kitchen staff will take ownership of the space and open their own as-yet-unnamed Mexican restaurant — the second to hit the neighborhood this summer.
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On July 30th I’ll be retiring from the restaurant business in order to focus on growing dope, selling natural foods, and hanging out with this kid. In that order. Three of the hardest working people I’ve ever met are taking over the shop, and turning it into a place of their own. Alvaro, Maria and Eli have been cooking your food and putting up with my shit for almost a decade now, and it’s their time to shine. They’ll be opening a Mexican restaurant that will rival any spot in the city, and I wish them the best. Me and yaseer are starting a fruit and alkaline food delivery/pickup program tentatively titled @fruitadelphia serving the city of Philadelphia, Delaware County, Wilmington, DE and hopefully in the coming months well beyond. It’s been a pleasure serving you. Thank you all and goodnight.
The restaurateur, who started out selling tacos and burritos from a food truck a decade ago before going brick-and-mortar at 261 South 44th Street, said that he’d been looking for a way out of the restaurant business for a year or two now.
In that time, McCusker moved 45 minutes outside the city. And this spring, he planted his first crop of 500 hemp plants, which he’ll harvest to make more CBD products. The commute and farm work on top of managing the restaurant and fruit stand wasn’t sustainable — plus, he and his wife are expecting their second child.
“I got to this point where I wanted to do all this stuff but I just don’t have enough hours in the day,” he said.
He considered shutting down the restaurant and running a health food store out of the space instead, but his staff expressed interest in taking over.
“They’ve been working so long, and most of them started with me,” McCusker said. “It’s pretty much their shop now. We worked it out so they’re taking it off my hands.”
He’ll collaborate with another Honest Tom’s staffer on the produce business, tentatively called Fruitadelphia, which will offer a list of available products online each week for customers to order and pick up in Philly, Delaware County, and Wilmington.
Honest Tom’s will shutter as of July 30th. The new owners will close for a week or so refresh the space and prep for the new Mexican concept, which McCusker said should be open by the end of the first week of August.