“The opportunity arose and we jumped on it,” said Cindy McLarty of the sale of their Mexican restaurant to their friends the Gilmores. “Sam has known Matt, who has been general manager for a number of residents in PB, for 25 years.”
McLarty said the Gilmores have already assumed control of the restaurant, but added, “It hasn’t closed escrow yet, just one more hurdle to overcome, hopefully by the end of this month.”
Cindy said her husband Sam “wanted somebody that he trusted that everybody would love.”
That turned out to be the Gilmores.
Melanie Gilmore said she and husband Matt have been patrons of Taco Surf since their children were toddlers. She added, “This is a true honor, a dream come true.”
Of the sale, Melanie said, “Sam asked Matt to buy Taco Surf once he found out Matt was looking for a quick-serving food business to purchase. We did not go in and say, ‘We want to buy this.’”
Melanie noted Matt was the original general manager of PB Bar & Grill. Matt was also employed previously at Hennessy’s in PB (now Duck Dive).
“Sam genuinely wanted somebody he cared about (Matt) that he knew would do a good job and that people would love,” said Melanie, who added no wholesale changes are planned for the restaurant.
“We want to keep the history of Taco Surf alive,” she said. “It’s all about what Sam has built. The only changes we might be making are painting and organizing.”
Cindy McLarty said the cooks and employees at Taco Surf will remain unchanged with the new ownership.
The McLartys owned the eatery since 1989. A lifelong surfer, some of Sam’s surfboard collection has been a mainstay of Taco Surf’s decor. The couple opened Taco Surf when they first took over on St. Patrick’s Day.