PORTLAND, Ore. -- The two Original Taco House restaurants in Portland, popular with families for decades, suddenly closed Dec. 31.
Owner Jeff Waddle posted a note on the doors of the restaurants on Dec. 30, announcing the closures.
Waddle told KGW Tuesday afternoon that after his brother and business partner Nate passed away in 2017, he wasn't able to make the restaurants work financially.
He also said there wasn't a good time to announce the closing of the restaurants because the decision was so sudden.
Sixty five employees are affected by the closing, according to Waddle.
Reaction to the closure first posted on KGW's Facebook page prompted anger at leaving employees abandoned and allowing customers to purchase gift cards in the days before closing.
Waddle said because the decision to close was so sudden, the gift cards were an afterthought. He told KGW he's sorry for the inconvenience and promises to reimburse customers who purchased gift cards.
They should call 503-257-9405 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to get their money.
The Original Taco House has closed both its locations.
The Waddle family suddenly closed both of its The Original Taco House restaurants Dec. 31, ending their family presence in Portland that started in 1945. Updates here. http://on.kgw.com/2CtHLyW What other favorites of yours in Portland have closed? "This final chapter comes as a very emotional decision. There is simply no Waddle left to greet our customers with the warm sincere welcomeness that has been our family's most essential ingredient since the beginning of our time. My sincerest thanks & appreciation and blessings." -- Jeff WaddlePosted by KGW-TV on Tuesday, January 2, 2018
There were also fond remembrances of eating at the restaurants and sadness that the Original Taco House joins a growing list of old school Portland restaurants closing.
The family is famously remembered for its Waddles restaurants dating back to 1945, especially the one by the Interstate 5 bridge and its iconic "Eat Now At Waddles" sign and a rubber duck image.
This sign was taped inside the front entrance:
We are closing our doors to both of the Original Taco House restaurants tomorrow, December 31st, 2017.
We sincerely thank and appreciate all of our longtime dedicated customers, our tremendous vendors, and all of the loyal support from our wonderful employees that we have been blessed with for so many years.
Our Waddle's family business began in 1945 built with my grandparents dreams, hard work, and extreme sacrifices and continued on with many fun prosperous years giving sincere thanks to my parents and 2 brothers for their passionate and devoted efforts that made it possible for our family to successfully serve our quality Original Taco House foods to 4 family generations of customers.
This final chapter comes as a very emotional decision. There is simply no Waddle left to greet our customers with the warm sincere welcomeness that has been our family's most essential ingredient since the beginning of our time.
My sincerest thanks & appreciation and blessings. -- Jeff Waddle