MERIDEN — Taino Smokehouse Prime announced this week it will hold a limited soft opening in the coming weeks and be “fully operational” by the fall.
The barbeque restaurant and bar, opening at the old Jacoby's location at 1388 E. Main St., received a certificate of occupancy from the city Building Department on Wednesday, according to building official Don Angersola.
With the certificate, the restaurant is able to open “as soon as the next day,” City Planner Renata Bertotti said.
Taino plans to hold “pop-up” events before opening in about three weeks, according to a Facebook post.
“In two weeks we will post a pop up for bar, for a few hours, then a few days later bar and food,” the post said. “In three weeks we will do our friends and family party and then our soft opening.”
The restaurant will be Taino’s second location. Owner Christopher Szewczyk previously opened another, smaller Taino location on South Main Street in Middletown.
Work to open Taino Smokehouse Prime, which began in 2016, has taken longer than owner Christopher Szewczyk anticipated. Szewczyk bought the property in 2015 with plans of opening in fall 2016.
“For two years we have been saying two weeks,” the Facebook post said. “Now I think for the first time we actually mean it. Two weeks.”
The Meriden location will serve smoked barbeque, dry-aged steaks, duck and lamb, international-inspired dishes. It will also include a marketplace featuring a bakery, cheese shop, and open-pit barbeque.
The Middletown location seats 26 people. The Meriden location has seating for 260.
During the soft opening, only the market place and bar will be open and the restaurant won’t yet be serving dry-aged meats. The restaurant plans to “perfect the dry-aging” process, which it refers to as “prime,” in the coming months and will test out the dry-aged meats at “pop up” shops.
The restaurant cautioned customers to temper expectations.
“We have taken too long to open and so expectations are high ... lower them and you won't be disappointed,” the post said.