WALLINGFORD — Longtime Mexican food truck Taco Pacifico plans to open a brick and mortar location on Chapel Street next month.
Owner Greg Sharon, of Madison, opened Taco Pacifico 10 years ago and for many years served Mexican food while parked at Dino’s Auto Spa in Madison. Over the years he expanded into catering and setting up a truck or trailer at different locations, like Clinton Crossing.
“Now years later, I brought it back to what I really wanted to do, which is own a property, own an asset and have my tortilla, tortilla chip business— that's my American dream,” Sharon said.
Sharon said he bought the building at 97 Chapel St.— formerly the Village Green Bar and Grille— in January of 2018 and has been renovating it since.
Swapping tables for manufacturing equipment, Sharon’s focus is on producing more than serving food in a traditional restaurant setting.
When visitors stop by they can peek into the production room through large windows at the front of the building.
“We're going to be the first tortilleria in the state of Connecticut, at least that's open to the public,” Sharon said. “(It will be) where people can not only come here and buy fresh tortillas and our homemade chips, which is our signature product, but also ... they'll be able to watch the process.”
Sharon said for years food truck patrons have been asking where the chips he serves are made. He’s proud to tell them they are made in-house. With the new building, the chips will be produced for a larger market, with the hope of being in grocery stores eventually.
He says the type of salt and oil used (corn oil only) makes his chips unique.
Taco Pacifico’s menu will be much like the food truck’s, with a curated offering of tacos and burritos for a quick bite or a family dinner.
“The difference is that now, because we're now producing in larger quantities with this commercial kitchen ... we're gonna have taco dinners,” Sharon said. The taco dinners will include their already cooked and seasoned meats, toppings and tortillas you can put together at home.
In 2009, Sharon started a catering company out of his home, with the dream of opening a brick and mortar business. Finances and opportunity led him to rent a hot dog food truck parked at a car wash in Madison, which turned into Taco Pacifico. Now, he’s closer than ever to seeing his dream come to life.
“All I wanted to do was have a brick and mortar and be able to have this type of operation, making chips, making tortillas, because I was always so inspired by the tortillerias that I would frequent in L.A.,” he said.
He fell in love with Mexican food when he lived in California around twenty years ago.
Sharon said he’s a little concerned about opening during the coronavirus pandemic because budgets may be tighter, but feels his business model is conducive to the times.
“I think now we’re in takeout times,” he said. “If we should go back to a takeout and delivery only model, the timing might be ideal.”
The business doesn’t have tables for dine-in or a take-out area yet. Because of COVID-19, Sharon said they’ll start with just curbside pickup.
The business’ hours are not yet determined. Sharon aims to open after Labor Day.