Tres Ninos keeps on truckin' with takeout spot on Marshall St. in North Adams
NORTH ADAMS — Tres Ninos, part dos, opens in February.
Chef and restaurateur Matt Tatro is taking his popular food truck, Tres Ninos, and incorporating it into a bricks-and-mortar space on Marshall Street, a few doors down from his Italian eatery Grazie.
"I have the ability to do more things than I did on the truck, being that I have a full commercial kitchen here," Tatro said. "We feel like we have a proven concept with the truck, which really took off, and I was getting more gigs than I could handle."
The taco and burrito joint will seat about 20 to 25, but the focus will be on takeout customers during lunch.
"The idea is, from the moment you walk through the door, to be out the door in five to 10 minutes," Tatro said.
The space was the longtime home of Brewhaha Cafe, which moved to West Main Street in 2018. It was then occupied briefly by Bowlin' on the River, which closed after a few months of operation.
It's the second restaurant Tatro has launched in North Adams. Grazie opened in 2016, and Tatro started Tres Ninos as a food truck in 2018.
"I'm here for the long run," said Tatro, who honed his culinary skills in Boston before returning home to the Berkshires. "I wanted to come back to North Adams and take the restaurant scene to the next level."
Opposite the food service counter is a miniature bodega that plans to sell everything from quick snacks to scratch-off lottery tickets.
The Tres Ninos menu was tailored to be simple and affordable, with an emphasis on freshness and crafting every ingredient in-house. The vast majority of the menu, Tatro notes, is gluten-free.
The lunch menu will feature burritos, rice bowls, tacos, a taco salad and nachos. For breakfast, Tres Ninos will offer breakfast burritos, tacos, sandwiches or a bowl. Included with the meal is the customer's choice of lettuce, pico de gallo, cilantro, onions, scallions, jalapeno, hot sauce, spicy aioli, sour cream and taco cheese.
The most expensive item on the menu? The rice bowl, at $9.
When it officially opens Feb. 7, after a brief soft opening, the hours of the restaurant will be 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., but Tatro said he is open to adjusting them if he hears the demand for it from customers.
Tatro's investment partner in the new endeavor is David Moresi, whose company, Moresi and Associates, carried out the work to renovate the restaurant space. Moresi and Tatro also are partners in Grazie, which, Moresi said, has "far exceeded both of our expectations."
Moresi said that when Tatro presented his concept for the bricks-and-mortar location, he was impressed.
"I think it's something that's been missing from North Adams," Moresi said.
Tatro was interested in taking over the Brewhaha space when the cafe announced that it was leaving, but wasn't ready to move forward. When Bowlin' on the River came and went, Tatro seized the opportunity and struck a deal to lease the space.
Tatro hopes to expand the taqueria concept to multiple locations over the next 10 years.
Matt Stimpson has been tapped to oversee the operation day to day but Tatro will still be present, especially at the beginning, and is always nearby at Grazie.
"The proximity is certainly what allows me to take this on right now, with Grazie being busier than ever," Tatro said.
The new business will generate four full-time jobs and 10 in total, according to Tatro. And yes, Tatro is aware that Northern Berkshire residents are itching for Tres Ninos to open.
"We want to do it right. Similar to Grazie, we don't want to compromise anything just to open," Tatro said.
The restaurant also will feature a give-a-taco, take-a-taco system.
"If you're going through the line, for half-price you can buy a taco sticker and put it out there [in front of the restaurant]," Tatro said. "If there's a sticker hanging there, you can take it, come in, and, no questions asked, get a free taco."
The food truck version of Tres Ninos still will cater large events, like those at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, where Tatro found success last year.
Adam Shanks can be reached at email@example.com, at @EagleAdamShanks on Twitter, or 413-629-4517.
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