With approximately 10,000 live performances in their so-called DIY music venue, Killer's Tacos
, owner Jeff Seley and his son Joey have served the Denton community for 7 years now. With this legacy under their belt, the duo is closing the joint at 424 Bryan St. on Saturday, July 1.
“Joey and I have decided that we want to move into the next phase of our lives, so I’m going to retire from working,” Jeff Seley says. “And Joey wants to do something else. He’s actually going to go work on a farm for a friend of his. So he’s a farm boy from way back at heart, I guess.”
With one-of-a-kind tacos and a live music ambiance a person could come across only in Denton, this goodbye proves difficult.
“When we posted that we were closing, the amount of well wishes was very humbling and heart-wrenching,” Jeff Seley says. “It's tough. I have very few customers, but a thousand friends.”
The property is being left in the hands of Denton musician and restaurateur Mark Kimberlin, who owns the El Cucuy Burritos food trucks. He's using Killer’s Tacos’ location as his storefront, and Seley knows Kimberlin will do the place justice.
Kimberlin is renovating the kitchen, indoor seating, and — this part might be especially exciting to regulars — the air conditioning. Plus, not to worry, the music venue portion will continue as well once the restaurant is up and running.
“He's a music guy," Seley says of Kimberlin. "He’s a Denton guy. He’s a restaurant guy. He’s a local guy. He’s an independent operator; he is not a chain. No, we are not selling out. He’s a hardworking guy. He’s going to do well, so we are very excited to turn this over to somebody as deserving as he is.”
This transition presents a difficult turn for Killer's Tacos employees.
“The worst thing about it definitely is the employees having to transition to other jobs,” Seley says. “So Mark has offered to put all of them to work. However, he’s not going to be able to do that until he’s open. And we’re looking at probably 60 days until he’s open.”
But the team is helping employees during this time with increased wages and bonuses for staying until Killer’s Tacos’ final days.
“We love them, so we just want to see them do well,” Seley says.
Live music will be ringing through the joint every single day until the July 1 farewell. The Denton favorite is dropping the curtain with a beach-themed, surf punk send-out party.
“The last show is going to be a punk show,” Seley says. “It’s going to start at 2 in the afternoon and go until the night. It’s going to be a beach theme.”
But the day after that, it’s construction time. Jeff Seley will still be there helping Kimberlin settle El Cucuy into its new home. Seley just wants to show his appreciation to his customers.
“Thank you from the bottom of our hearts," he says. "This town is really cool. I’ve worked other places all over the metroplex, and never have I been treated better. We just feel very lucky to have known all of these people.”