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'Tacoria' prepares to open doors in December 2015

An idea three years in the making is set to come to life on Easton Avenue this December in the form of Mexican cuisine.

Tacoria is a business venture of three childhood friends and University alumni with a passion for Mexican food. The restaurant is expected to open its doors within the next month, said Vishal Patel, managing partner for the restaurant.

"(Tacoria) should be up and running in the next four to six weeks, and (it) will have a grand opening when the (students) get back (in) mid-January, as long as there are no hiccups in construction," he said.

The restaurant will have a menu featuring tacos, burritos, burrito bowls, quesadillas, nachos and tortas, a type of Mexican sandwich.

All of the food will be served fresh, and there will not be a freezer in the restaurant, said Chuck Patel, another restaurant partner.

The partners said they have done extensive research in finding what they call the perfect taste and feel for Tacoria.

"We've been out to San Francisco (and) we have traveled to Mexico on food-related trips," Vishal said. "We're trying to bring those flavors and that type of feel to New Brunswick."

Restaurant-goers should expect to receive their food within five minutes of ordering, depending on what they order.

While Tacoria is a quick-service restaurant, it will feature some indoor seating and a functional outdoor patio area for the warmer months, Vishal Patel said.

As of now, the restaurant has plans to open around 11 a.m. and plans to stay open as late as 3 a.m. on the weekends, he said.

Tacoria is going to be something different from what is normally seen on Easton Avenue, he said.

Dipen Patel, the third business partner, said in an email that the restaurant’s ambiance can best be described as having a rustic, street vibe with a bit of warmth and coziness. 

"(We are) using very earthy materials," Vishal Patel said. "We're using bricks, wood, our floors are going to be polished concrete, there will be some stainless steel in it, there's going to be a lot of color (and) we have really cool paintings."

Chuck Patel said they also use environmentally-friendly materials wherever and whenever possible.

“We're trying to keep it all natural, the benches are made out of concrete, everything that we have is really unique," he said.

The three partners said they are committed to their specific branding, and they sought wood for the interior of the restaurant from an old barn in Kentucky.

Tacoria will also have accordion doors to keep the space open, something Vishal Patel said is reminiscent of many New York restaurants.

This is not the first restaurant that the partners have opened up. The three have four other sandwich shops in the area.

The partners said they are committed to being involved with every aspect of the business, including developing menu items, branding and aiding in the construction of the shop.

There is no real structure in their partnership because they are all close friends, Chuck Patel said.

"Some of us focus more on the food, numbers (or) construction part but at the end of the day we all have our hand prints on every single aspect of the business," Dipen Patel said. 

The partners said they found camaraderie in the New Brunswick community among fellow business owners in the area through the long construction period. 

“The local business owners in the community are all really friendly and receptive," Chuck Patel said. "It's cool to be in this kind of area because there’s a real alumni feeling to it."

What makes Tacoria special is the people involved, the process and the product, Dipen Patel said.

The partners said they would like to see Tacoria become a longstanding restaurant in the New Brunswick and Rutgers communities.

"(New Brunswick) is a community we love," Vishal Patel said. "It has a special place in our hearts and we wanted to bring the food we love to the community we love, it's simple as that, we bleed scarlet red."

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