Remembering Paul Johnson: The Man Behind Fargo’s Taco Shop

When tragedy struck the Johnson family in January, business continued on like usual.

FARGO, ND — When tragedy struck the Johnson family in January, business continued on like usual.

Since the death of the owner, the family behind the Taco Shop chain is adding a new item available for purchase.

Paul Johnson was the man behind the Taco Shops in Fargo for nearly 30 years.

“My parent’s generation grew up having this kind of be their go-to place,” said Paul’s daughter, Tracey Johnson.

Last November, the family received unimaginable news.

“He was essentially diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer,” said Tracey. “At that point, he was going to try to fight it with chemo and then two months later, he passed in January.”

“That just came out of nowhere and just unfortunately, rapidly increased and got worse and worse,” said Paul’s son, Chris.

The popular restaurant has been a Fargo staple for decades.

“Now it’s kind of what we have to hang on to him right now,” said Tracey.

A place that is now more special than ever to this family.

“This is my aunt and Paul’s sister, Vicky Johnson,” said Tracey, introducing the band of people who joined her Sunday morning.

Paul touched the lives of many others.

His daughter, Tracey, wants the community to be able to remember him too.

“I want to keep his legacy alive and I want his memory to always be present with us,” said Tracey.

The family decided to create a t–shirt in his honor.

So far, they’ve been selling out quickly.

“Who doesn’t want a Taco Shop Paul Johnson t–shirt?” Tracey asked while her family laughed.

People are excited to wear something that shows off Tracey’s favorite picture of her dad.

“He’s actually at a RedHawks game, wearing his Taco Shop uniform, cheering them on,” she explained.

It’s a piece of happiness the family can count on, especially when surrounded by bittersweet memories.

“I get my emotional times,” admitted Chris. “I just get really nostalgic and next, emotional. I think he’d be really proud how things are going.”

A reminder that although we can no longer say “Hi” to Paul…he’s always there.

The shirts are priced at $12 each and are only available at the original Taco Shop location on North University Drive.

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