MERIDEN — Years after selling Tacos Mi Nacho to a family member to move to Mexico, Ignacio Cardenas is set to open his second Mexican restaurant in the city.
“I always loved cooking,” Cardenas said.
Cardenas and partner Alberto Gutierrez are about three weeks from opening Mr. Taco at 69 Miller St., next to Big M Liquor.
The restaurant, a former warehouse, was gutted and the interior and facade remodeled to make way for the sit-down restaurant bearing the same name as Cardenas’ Mr. Taco food truck.
Daughter Monse Cardenas, who works at the food truck, will work in the restaurant.
The restaurant will offer an extended menu of food truck favorites and new dishes, including fajitas, quesadillas, burritos and, of course, tacos. There is also a children’s menu for the pickiest of eaters.
Cardenas decided to open the restaurant after getting requests from his food truck customers. The truck frequently parks near the Meriden Green.
“The people were asking us to open a place to sit down and eat,” he said. “We saw this place and right away we said ‘yes’.”
The restaurant has a new tile floor and can seat up to 50. It will seat 90 when Cardenas adds another door, per the fire marshal, he said.
Parking is to the east of the building on a paved lot that may be extended closer to the restaurant, he said. The landlord also intends to do facade work at Big M and the convenience store, Cardenas said.
The Making Meriden Business Center and the Midstate Chamber of Commerce will likely host a ribbon-cutting when the restaurant is fully opened, said Development Specialist David Cooley of the Making Meriden Business Center.
”One of the things that struck me is when you’re sitting at the (Meriden Green) amphitheater you can see the restaurant, Cooley said. “Alberto and Ignacio have been great to work with. He’s had some success with the truck on the green and everybody loves his food. We’re excited to have him down here. We always need more restaurants.”