By Gary Stern
The fast-service restaurant Taco Mahal started because of the owner’s father’s newsstand. And that’s not a misprint.
After Danikkah Josan’s father said he was ready to shutter his compact 200-square-foot newsstand near busy Sheraton Square in the West Village of Manhattan after 30 years, she urged him not to give up his lease. “Don’t cancel it,” Josan told him, “I have an idea for a restaurant that combines Indian food with Mexican tacos.”
Josan, who was 26 at the time (and is now 29), developed a business plan. She majored in business administration at Texas A&M and had been working at Capital One Finance in Texas. But her dad had also owned an Indian restaurant in Greenwich Village, Rangoli, which exposed her to the restaurant business including equipment companies and food suppliers.