Charlie’s PizzaTaco to open near Central and Tyler

WICHITA — The almost half-century old Charlie’s Home of Pizza Taco is coming to Wichita as Charlie’s PizzaTaco.

The original restaurant, which sells pizzas in the shape of tacos among other things, is something of an institution in Pratt.

Owner Charlie Hoffman’s son, Dave, is opening the business here in the former Pitas & Paninis space (and Yuca Latin Bistro before that) on Tyler just south of Central.

Dave Hoffman’s partner in the business is his brother-in-law, Tim Holmes.

“They’re going to try to retire me,” Charlie Hoffman says.

He’s OK with that — one of these days.

“I’ve done if for 45 years, and I’m kind of wearing out.”

Dave Hoffman owns Golden-Colo.-based Hoffco Brands, which manufactures and distributes about 20 brands — and 1,200 SKUs (stock-keeping units) — of products such as cell phone accessories, eyewear and LED lights.

“We do hot gadgets that retailers want to buy,” Hoffman says.

And now he wants to go into the restaurant business?

“I must be crazy, huh?”

He’s already making plans for almost a dozen of the restaurants followed by franchises.

“We’re taking (my father’s) whole idea and adding marketing to it because that’s what I do,” Hoffman says.

He first began cooking at his father’s restaurant at age 7. He hasn’t tired of the food.

“I travel the world,” Hoffman says. “So I eat out all the time.”

He routinely thinks back to the pizza tacos.

“I always think those are way better than what I’m eating now,” Hoffman says. “I always keep that vision that at the right time I’d give it a run.”

After establishing the Wichita restaurant, which will open in late October, Hoffman is thinking of locations in college towns such as Manhattan, where there are young people who would gravitate to this kind of food.

“It’s unique food that nobody in Wichita does,” Holmes says.

He’s most recently been serving in the military in Afghanistan “and decided the restaurant business is where I need to be instead of being shot at.”

Charlie Hoffman says his pizza tacos, which are “as full as you can put them,” already have a following in Wichita.

“I’ve got customers in Wichita (who) drive down here to get them,” he says.

The younger Hoffman says he’s simply carrying on his father’s tradition.

“My whole endeavor here is just to see his dream come true,” Dave Hoffman says. “It’s a winner.”