With a third location of Deep South Taco under way on Transit Road, the company is working on a first for local restaurants: its own farm.
Deep South Taco is buying about 50 acres in Angola, intending to work with area farmers to raise crops on that land for Deep South Taco restaurants, owner Richard Hamilton said. By next year, he hopes to see vegetables like tomatoes, tomatillos, chiles, radishes and green onions coming from the restaurant's own land.
"We buy from quite a few farms now, but many farms don’t produce in the quantity that Deep South Taco needs," Hamilton said. "This is a great opportunity for us to grow as much locally as we can for all three of our restaurants."
[Deep South Taco has two spots in Buffalo's surging tide of tacos]
Details are still being hammered out, and the effort may not start in earnest until next year, Hamilton said. If the company can grow locally even 60 percent of the vegetables it needs, while supporting local farmers, that would be a "great opportunity," he said. "We're going to take a stab at it and see if we can make it a success."
The taco-centered restaurant is turning 6727 Transit Road, Lancaster, former Quaker Steak & Lube, into its third restaurant, and first suburban outpost. The original Deep South Taco opened at 291 Ellicott St. in 2015, followed by 1701 Hertel Ave. on New Year's Day.
The Transit Road restaurant will seat about 200 in the dining room, and another 70 at the bar, with room for about 180 on the outdoor patio. The front wall of the restaurant will turned into a retractable glass wall to open the dining room to the patio.
"Transit is going to have some things the other two don't have," said owner Richard Hamilton. "The biggest is that we're going to be brewing beer there."
Equipment is being installed that will allow the Transit restaurant to brew three types of beer, he said. One will be LuchaBrew, a Mexican-style lager that has been brewed for the company by East Aurora's 42 North.
"It's been their number two beer at 42 North, and people have been asking for it other places," Hamilton said.
[PHOTOS: Smiles at the LuchaBrew Launch Party at Deep South Taco]
The Transit restaurant will also have a dedicated takeout area, like a walk-through Chipotle line, he said, to add a quick-serve function for customers looking to grab food and go.
In other news, Hamilton said that in a month, new food items will be coming to Deep South Taco locations, including fajitas, Baja shrimp and Texas brisket tacos, and ceviche.
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