I can’t think of many things better than walking down Front or Main Streets in Greenport in the summer. Day or night, it really doesn’t matter. It’s a picturesque waterfront village with unique shops, a spacious park by the dock and a variety of bars and restaurants to suit anyone’s tastes.
On this particular night I walked into Lucharitos on Main Street and was greeted not only by lively music, but an energetic crowd of people my own age. I had hit the jackpot.
Lucharitos is a mix of authentic Mexican food and fun. The extensive drink menu includes margaritas, mojitos, sangria and craft beer. (If you’re looking for the perfect Lucharitos roll up your sleeves and order the tequila.)
But this place isn’t just about the booze. The stacked food menu cannot be overlooked, showcasing tacos, nachos, burritos, quesadillas and even salads and wings. The only thing I didn’t like about ordering off the menu was that I ultimately had to decide between all the great options.
While enjoying the ambiance of Lucharitos, I was lucky enough to be sitting at the bar next to two locals who took pride in their town and were eager to share their stories with me. Nicole Chierchie and Jade Duell both graduated from Greenport High School, as did Lucharitos owner Marc Lamaina. Graduating in a class of 42 and 49 students, respectively, everyone knows each other well and Lucharitos is a must-stop place when in town.
Chierchie explained to me that before it became the great taqueria and tequila bar it is today, Lucharitos was a cupcake shop that was damaged when Hurricane Sandy hit Greenport in 2012.
Shortly after Sandy, Lamaina re-opened up as Lucharitos, which became so popular he expanded it to twice its original size to meet demand.
Duell said Lucharitos is among her favorite restaurants because “it’s well priced with great food and quick service.”
“[Just about] everything in Greenport is a bit more upscale,” she said. “But Lucharitos is an easy place to stop in and just have a drink and a taco, whether you’re alone or with friends.”
I felt a sense of energy and pride in the establishment, not only with the patrons, but especially from Lamaina.
He was eager to share his story.
“The success of Lucharitos is pretty simple. It is very unpretentious here,” he said. “It is very North Fork local. We have regulars from Riverhead to Orient that come and hang out here 12 months a year.”
These locals have been able to enjoy the lively establishment Lamaina envisioned from the beginning.
“I wanted to create a place where people could have fun in a safe environment and just be themselves,” he said. “We care, and our customers see it and appreciate it, and the love is reciprocated.”
As I observed, Lucharitos is extremely popular for both the lunch and dinner rush, often times hosting a packed house, which in the summer is split among the locals and tourists.
On Friday and Saturday nights, DJs and karaoke entertain the crowds, who can be seen pushing tables and chairs against the wall to make room for dancing and group conversations.
Lamaina credits being a Greenport native and having a diverse staff as leading to the popularity of his establishment.
“[We have] the ability to pack the place with a Snapchat or Facebook post, and it creates an energy that can’t be duplicated,” he said.
The community pride and camaraderie among the patrons and staff that Chierchie and Duell explained is evident even to an outsider like myself.
With unique Luchador artwork, amazing drinks and a young crowd, Lucharitos is on my list of places to visit on a Saturday night when looking for great food, drinks, music and, most importantly, a good time.
You need to find Lucharitos at 119 Main Street in Greenport.
The author is a Connecticut school teacher spending summer break in Peconic for the first time and blogging about it on northforker.com. Check out her other stops along the way: