BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — After five years of being in business, surviving the pandemic, and living through economic hardships, Government Taco can no longer afford to stay open. 

The award-winning taco joint that’s located in the heart of Baton Rouge, is now in its final days of operation.

“The area in general has seen a little bit of a decline in people coming through; especially, at night,” said John Geiger, general manager of Government Taco.

Celebrity chef Jay Ducote opened Government Taco inside White Star Market in 2018 and later relocated to the Mid City area.

“The recent economic downturn. Cost of goods have just increased dramatically by over 50% on a lot of things. So, you know, our profitability was just down. Our sales, then, went down as well,” said Geiger.

Geiger says business started falling off in the summer. A higher cost for food and products leads to a rise in menu prices.

“We won best tacos in Baton Rouge for the last three years. So, we have been doing something right, at least to our food. But yeah, unfortunately, it’s just we haven’t been able to get enough people in,” said Geiger.

One lady says she first learned of Government Taco in a Facebook post about the restaurant closing down. 

She wishes there was something the community could have done sooner.

“There’s hope out there to try to stave off restaurants closing. I believe it’s just, if you’re in dire straits, maybe say something before we lose something so great,” said Tristan Yperman, customer.

Geiger says they’re not the only business in the area struggling to keep the lights on. He shares some advice…

“You know, you have to cut costs where you can stay engaged in the community as much as you can and hopefully that works out,” said Geiger.

As for what’s next for Government Taco, Geiger says this is it.

“You know my staff and I have been here over two years. You know, this is our livelihood. So, we’re obviously we’re sad things didn’t work out, but we got to keep our head up,” said Geiger.

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