Lucharitos is changing the way the North Fork does dinner and a movie.
The popular Mexican restaurant with locations in Greenport, Aquebogue and Center Moriches is opening its fourth outpost with direct access to Mattituck Cinemas, allowing customers to chow down while enjoying a show.
Owner Marc LaMaina is anticipating an early 2020 opening of the 16-seat-restaurant, called The Burrito Bar. Working with the Cardinale Group, which owns the movie theater at the Mattituck Plaza complex, renovations include connecting the restaurant space with the theater for the first time.
“It is going to enhance the movie experience,” said managing partner Kevin Sage. “Marc and I grew up together and we’d always go to the movie theater. This feels like getting back to our roots.”
The Burrito Bar will have a similar aesthetic and menu as its counterparts, but served up in a new way. Sage described the concept as a “West Coast” style of grab-and-go ordering. Customers will wait in line, then choose from a menu of tacos and burritos or build their own from freshly prepared proteins, veggies and toppings. The food will be made-to-order and ready to go by the time the customer gets to the cashier.
“We try to create different experiences every time we open a new place,” Sage said. “There is going to be a little something for everyone. It is a place where people can get a nice, quick meal before the movies; not just popcorn and candy.”
The offerings will range the gamut from ultra-healthy to mega indulgent. In addition to the signature burritos, The Burrito Bar will feature create-your-own salad bar. A snack menu with movie-friendly bites will include popcorn chicken, nacho fries and pretzel with queso dipping sauce.
“It is our style with a movie theater snack spin,” LaMaina said. “We are going to work with the movie theater times so people can run in and grab hot, ready-to-go with no wait.”
The Burrito Bar, which will also cater to non-movie goers, allows customers to call in orders to skip the line. Plans for the new Lucharitos location coincide with other improvements being made at the theater, LaMaina said, adding renovations at the new restaurant get underway this week. The hope is to serve beer, wine, cider and liquor when the restaurant opens this winter.
The Burrito Bar is the latest restaurant to move into the space. Most recently vacated by Bam Burger, the location has been home to many short-lived ventures over the years. But as for the building’s turnover history, LaMaina is not concerned.
“The offerings are going to be quite different,” he said. “It is a cool concept and it is going to be a great experience for everyone.”
The Burrito Bar is the latest incarnation of the Lucharitos. LaMaina launched the flagship Greenport location in late 2012 after Hurricane Sandy heavily damaged the cupcake shop, Butta Cakes, he used to operate out of the same spot. Since then, it quickly became a popular destination, requiring an expansion and doubling in size in 2015.
In October 2017, Little Lucharitos opened in Aquebogue. LaMaina decided to expand west again, this time to Center Moriches with a restaurant property that features a farm and educational center.
LaMaina hopes to open the main restaurant by the holidays following extensive renovations. Until then, the taco truck is open on Tuesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Monday at Center Moriches. The rotating taco menu includes beef, adobo chicken, farm pumpkin and shrimp. With the harvest underway on the Lucharitos farm, “Sunday Fundays” at the Center Moriches outpost, located 177 Main Street, also feature pick-and-paint pumpkins, oyster shucking, churros, cider, street corn and more from noon to 6 p.m.
Follow along at facebook.com/lucharitos, for Taco Truck schedule updates and progress at The Burrito Bar.