MERIDEN — City officials expect Taino Smokehouse Prime on East Main Street to open this spring.
“They are making good progress but still have interior work to do before they can open,” Economic Development Director Juliet Burdelski said in an email Monday.
The restaurant hasn’t announced an opening date, but City Planner Bob Seale said they hope to open in April.
“It’s moving along at a really quick pace,” Seale said. “It’s looking great and I anticipate looking forward to a grand opening.”
Exterior construction on the building was nearly complete in December. Seale, who visited the building at 1388 E. Main St last week, said sheetrock is up and a fire pit is complete.
The restaurant was originally slated to open last year.
“It’s a very large building and a pretty major construction project,” Seale said about delays.
Owner Christopher Szewczyk could not be reached for comment Monday.
In 2016, Taino Smokehouse announced that award-winning chef Van Hurd would be developing the menu and operating procedures.
Hurd grew up in Texas and competed in the sixth season of Gordon Ramsay's cooking competition series, Hell's Kitchen.
Sandra Russo-Driska, Taiano general manager, said in September that the new restaurant will seat 260 people.
"It will focus on hospitality, quality and theatre," Russo-Driska said in a statement. "We will have an open barbecue pit and wood fired grill.”
Taino Smokehouse also has a location in Middletown.