Miami-based Bodega Taqueria y Tequila is expanding with a second brick-and-mortar location. The new restaurant is set to open on November 12, at 21 W. Las Olas Blvd. in Fort Lauderdale.
According to Jared Galbut, managing principal of Menin Hospitality, which owns the Bodega concept, the 4,000-square-foot Broward location will have "a daytime bodega feel," with a Mexican brunch and different programming and events, including "Margarita Mondays," a happy hour, and a food menu that will include rotating specials.
The Mexican street-food eatery, which debuted in 2015 on 16th Street just west of Lincoln Road in South Beach and gained popularity as a late-night speakeasy and dining spot, has also announced a food-only spinoff of its original outpost, dubbed Bodega Taqueria.
"Before the pandemic, we were looking to expand into other major markets in Florida," Galbut tells New Times. "But with the lockdown, we were only able to have the food portion going and stepped up everything about it, including delivery and technology. We saw the love for Bodega from the customers. The ordering just kept coming, and Taco Tuesdays at home became a hit. That made us realize that the food concept can go out on its own and thrive in markets that are not primary targets."
Galbut says the first Bodega Taqueria will open in North Beach in the spring of 2021 and will service Surfside and Bal Harbour from a location on 73rd Street and Collins Avenue. A second outpost is slated to open in 2022 in downtown Miami, inside Natiivo Miami, at 601 NE First Ave.
As at the South Beach location, Bodega Taqueria patrons will be able to order from a full-sized, retrofitted vintage Airstream-trailer-turned-taco-truck, with the option to dine in a setting of picnic tables, neon barstools, and graffitied walls.
Bodega Taqueria's culinary director Bernie Matz will offer many taco and burrito options from the original concept, including al pastor, barbacoa, pollo asado, and vegan "carne asada," along with quesadillas and signature salsa, queso, and guacamole. The beverage list will feature bottled beers and a list of specialty drinks.
In addition to the first two locations, Menin Hospitality will continue to expand with ten other Bodega Taqueria eateries within the next 18 to 24 months, including outposts in Wynwood and Downtown Miami.
"It is a challenging moment, and we want to be smart about our decisions, see more opportunity on the other side," Galbut says. "It is the best time for quick-service food in this type of environment, and a taqueria-only is a great concept that can run well no matter what's going on in the economy or politics and give people what they want. It is also a smaller footprint and allows us to get into markets where the full concept wouldn't work."
Bodega Taqueria y Tequila. 21 W. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; 954-945-5545; bodegataqueria.com. Opening November 12.
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