May 14—BRATTLEBORO — The popular food truck Tito's Taqueria has opened a new restaurant, not far from its previous location on Putney Road, as owner Tito Garza also considers expanding the business to Keene.
The new brick-and-mortar eatery in the Hannaford Supermarket plaza opened May 5, replacing the taqueria's truck in nearby Black Mountain Square, according to Garza. It is the taqueria's second restaurant, after the first opened two years ago in Greenfield, Mass.
Garza, a Guilford, Vt., resident, said the new location is particularly meaningful because Brattleboro is where he started the business in 2016, selling breakfast tacos out of a cooler on the side of the road.
The taqueria evolved from a cart to a truck over the following years, before Garza opened its first restaurant. The Brattleboro truck's popularity eventually forced him to look for a bigger space, he said.
"As the years went by, we just did ... so much better," he said. "It was kind of hard to do that much volume out of a trailer."
Finding a new location took a couple of years, according to Garza, who joked that he is "not the quickest decision-maker." He had settled on a storefront in the Hannaford plaza strip mall early last year but abandoned those plans due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the pandemic, Garza said he recognized that eateries with an easy method of food distribution — like a delivery service or drive-thru window — have been very popular.
That became a priority for his new restaurant, which a different, standalone building in the Hannaford plaza and which previously housed Thin Crust Pizzeria. Garza said the 720-square-foot structure, also a former bank, has a drive-thru window where customers can pick up online orders. (They can order in the store, as well.)
The brick-and-mortar location will benefit the taqueria's employees, Garza explained, because the food truck was too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter.
Business has boomed since the new restaurant opened, he said, calling it "the busiest we've ever been."
Garza wants to expand the taqueria to Keene next, saying he plans to remodel the food truck and move it to the Elm City — possibly as soon as this summer.
"If it does well, we could end up looking at a building there," he said.
Caleb Symons can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1420, or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @CalebSymonsKS.