After months of anticipation, Madison’s Mad Taco held a ribbon cutting Monday as a precursor for its opening this Thursday, Oct. 14.

The restaurant, located on East Washington Street at the site of the former Simmons Funeral Home, will have its grand opening on Thursday, Oct. 14 at 4 p.m., said Charles Marvil, managing director of hospitality, Mad Hospitality.

The opening, culminating months of work on the old Simmons Building, was heralded by both city officials and Preston Snyder, CEO, Thomas Preston Real Estate.

“Thanks to Preston for his vision for taking this building that has been vacant for 15 years and bringing it to its majesty,” said Madison City Council Member Chris Hodges.

Marvil said the taco restaurant, a mix of Tex-Mex and Hispanic cuisine, would open initially for dinner from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays and 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. The restaurant will open for lunch service at 10 a.m. beginning the week of Oct. 25.

Mad Taco is the second hospitality offering from the Thomas Preston Real Estate company to open in downtown Madison following the opening of The Sinclair across the block on Hancock Street a month ago. The company is also planning on opening the Hart & Crown Tavern next door to Mad Taco in mid-November, Marvil said.

Madison City Council Member Eric Joyce said he was excited to see what effect the opening has on the East Washington side of Madison’s downtown square. “What is happening in this part of town is such a plus for us,” he said. “This will add to a vibrant economy.”

“The vitality level I see on this part of town is exciting,” he said.

Mad Taco’s Chef Ryan Caldwell said the restaurant will include “street style” tacos from local providers of meat. Nick Bielli, operations manager of Mad Hospitality, said the restaurant will offer a full line of local beers on tap. Bielli added the restaurant was hoping to becoming a center point of the square. “We are looking forward to being a happening spot,” he said.

Snyder told the gathering that he was “thrilled to be opening (Mad Taco)” and was doing so with “the normal butterflies.”

He also praised Marvil, Caldwell and Bielli, stating that he was “thrilled that these guys are here to put this together.”

Marvil said Mad Taco, a roughly 40-seat restaurant, would be a “fun, lively, semi-casual environment.”

Bob Hughes, president and economic director of the Madison-Morgan Chamber of Commerce, said the restaurant’s opening “does nothing but bode well for Madison from this point forward.”

Snyder has said earlier that the company also plans an elegant, private dining room concept in an adjoining space and is also contemplating a brew pub, type establishment. “I hope we get to do this multiple times,” he said at Monday’s ribbon cutting.

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