The stakes? Free tacos for a year.
The requirement? To be among the first 20 people to walk through Chronic Tacos’ doors during its grand opening Saturday.
Johnathan Holdren and Cassandra Krous got a jump on the challenge around 3 a.m. when the two friends parked Krous’ Toyota Rav4 in front of the 524 W. Main Ave. location.
When the doors opened at 11, they had already cemented their spot in build-your-own-taco heaven.
“I just love tacos so much. They are seriously my thing. I just go straight to tacos,” said Holdren, standing in line with about 50 patrons behind him. “I’ve never had a (Chronic Tacos) before, and want to try one.”
Krous, another self-described taco addict, was inspired by a celebrity appearance.
“I got here to see ‘Wee Man,’” Krous said.
Jason “Wee Man” Acuna, professional skateboarder and MTV “Jackass” star, was featured during the grand opening party, which included a live DJ and other free giveaways.
Acuna owns a Chronic Tacos in Redondo Beach, California, and is a longtime family friend of the Spokane locale’s owner, Dan Ciscel.
“This is awesome,” Acuna said between posing for pictures with fans. “I’ve been to Spokane before for other events, but to have a Chronic Tacos here is pretty amazing.”
Acuna, who said he was in Spokane at a Monster Energy event five years ago, likes the contrast in weather and scenery to his Southern California home.
“I love how woodsy it is,” he said. “It’s different than the desert in Los Angeles. It’s nice and cold. I like the cold; I’m not a sunshine guy.”
Ciscel, who said there are 52 Chronic Tacos locations, also runs a Jersey Mike’s sandwich stop in California, but became intrigued with Spokane when his parents moved to the area four years.
Getting into the new high-foot-traffic area of Main Avenue had been a two-year process, he said, but after seeing the opening day rush Saturday, he believes it will pay off.
“This is pretty cool. I didn’t know what to expect,” Ciscel said. “It was a great turnout, but not too crazy to where the fire marshal needs to come out. Spokane will enjoy a taco place like this.”
Alex Suchanek became a fan on Day One, he said.
Suchanek, one of the first 20 to get in and score a claim to free tacos for a year, even created a Facebook group dubbed “First 20 Chronic Tacos.” Thirteen had joined just minutes after he created the group Saturday.
“Hopefully, the first 20 from today can all get together and enjoy our free tacos sometime,” Suchanek said.