The Tipsy Taco brand is growing, this time as a franchise and this time in Clemson.
Tipsy Taco creators and owners, Trish Balentine and Roger Carlton have been working on the franchise arm of their business since last year and now, they have found their first franchisees, Paul Ryll and Rion Mimms, who will be opening a Tipsy Taco at Hartwell Village in Clemson in August.
Expect the restaurant to open before football season, the two promised.
The 4,000-square-foot restaurant will feature the same menu and a very similar layout to the original Tipsy Taco locations. The Clemson location will have about 120 seats inside and an additional 50 on the patio. It will also feature a bar and dining room.
Paul Ryll (left) and Rion Mimms, will open Tipsy Taco’s first franchise location in Clemson this year.
The perfect fit
Mimms and Ryll discovered Tipsy Taco as customers and inquired about franchising early this year. The two bring decades of experience working in the restaurant industry, from washing dishes as teens to bartending and management. Mimms grew up in Charleston and worked at spent a lot of time at Hyman’s downtown.
Ryll, who grew up outside Athens, Georgia, worked in that city before joining the Marines. But the naturally social person missed restaurants. So, wherever he was stationed, he found a weekend bartending job.
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Mimms and Ryll met while both were working in the food and beverage department at The Peace Center. By then, Mimms was in a managerial role, and Ryll was starting his real estate appraisal business.
Once Ryll’s appraisal business was running, he hired Mimms part-time. Still, he wanted to remain connected to the food and beverage industry.
“From day one I told him I wanted a restaurant,” Ryll said of convincing his friend to open something with him. “He said no every time.”
But Tipsy Taco proved to be the key to persuading Mimms. The food is good, he said, as is the service and it has the perfect balance of well thought out approach with a laidback atmosphere.
It is also a place Mimms can take his almost 3-year-old daughter.
“The big thing with me too is I didn’t want to just be a bar,” he said. “I wanted it to be a place where you go eat with your family, maybe have a couple drinks but that it’s a good place to go for anyone.”
Paul Ryll and Rion Mimms, owners of Tipsy Taco in Clemson say there is a football effect when it comes to positive real estate trends. (Photo: Staff file)
The football effect
In seeking a location, Mimms and Ryll did their due diligence and Clemson came in at the top. The two point to what they call the football effect.
“There was a study at Harvard that researched this and how colleges that were doing well with programs impacted the real estate and the business that was growing from it,” Ryll said of his research. “I thought Clemson is doing so well with football and the university is growing.”
Once they started digging, they found some very positive trends. Over the past five years, median home prices in the area have increased, as have the number of property transactions, they said.
Tipsy Taco, which has two locations in Greenville and one in Simpsonville, will be opening a franchise location in Clemson in late summer 2019.
“The university is such a big deal in this community and it’s not gonna go anywhere,” Ryll said. “So, if we are by the university I think it’s a little more of a risk mitigating factor.”
The partners are thrilled to see their restaurant come to life, and they said there could be more. It remains to be seen whether they will follow the football in the future.
For more information visit https://www.tipsytaco.net/
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