CHEYENNE – A passion for Potato Olés has led to a star turn for Taco John’s International.
An episode of a new History Channel series that airs Sunday will feature Taco John’s International, which is headquartered in Cheyenne.
The program will be shown in Cheyenne at 5 a.m. Sunday on the History Channel, cable channel 51.
The series, called “It’s How You Get There,” records the adventures of two hosts, American comedian Greg White and British celebrity Julian Taylor.
They travel across America in interesting types of air, ground and water vehicles. They also seek out smaller, unique dining options that they include in the episodes.
The two hosts just happen to love Potato Olés, a key part of the Taco John’s menu. Potato Olés are round bites of crunchy potato accented with the company’s own blend of spices.
One day in January, the producer of the show called Jim Creel, chief executive officer of Taco John’s International, at his Cheyenne office.
“The call came in from the blue,” Creel said Friday.
The two hosts wanted to include a Taco John’s segment on their show, because of their devotion to Potato Olés.
One host “said that he could dive into a vat of Potato Olés with the cheese sauce and eat his way out,” Creel said.
The producer said the hosts would be filmed waterskiing in frigid Lake Michigan in May and asked if there were any Taco John’s restaurants near Chicago.
Creel said the Taco John’s in Bourbonnais, Illinois, was the closest. Bourbonnais is about 55 miles south of Chicago and has a population of about 14,000 people.
The producer liked the idea and decided that the hosts would drive a boat-on-wheels vehicle called Sealegs to the Taco John’s at Bourbonnais.
Sealegs is an amphibious watercraft and has engines for both water and land. The duo successfully maneuvered the vehicle through the restaurant’s drive-through.
The filming was fun for participants, Creel said.
“They were at the restaurant for eight hours,” he said of the production crew and hosts.
Alex Habeeb is the Taco John’s franchise owner in Bourbonnais. He and his employees were happy to be part of the production, he said.
“We wouldn’t miss that opportunity. It’s not every day that your restaurant is featured on the History Channel. It doesn’t happen very often where big-timers go through Bourbonnais,” he said.
Creel is excited and said he’ll be up early to watch the episode. Taco John’s also will post it on the company’s website.
“It gets the Taco John’s name out there,” he said of the show.
The program will be great for people who grew up eating Potato Olés but since moved away from the nearly 400 cities that have a Taco John’s.
“It will be a fun reminder of their youth. I think it is wonderful,” Creel said.
Those connected with the series could not be reached for comment Friday.