Last month, Richmond mourned the loss of Nate’s Taco Truck Stop in Jackson Ward. Now, according to his new business partner, Nate will have a permanent location in Carytown and will once again have a brick-and-mortar in which to sling tacos.
Nate Gutierrez, owner of Nate’s Taco Truck, has been tapped to be head chef at a new Carytown restaurant. Hamooda Shami, co-owner and General Manager of New York Deli, is taking over the location previously known as Viva Mexico, located on the 2900 block of W. Cary Street. “It’s still a little early,” he cautioned, yet adding “I’ve always wanted to do another space.”
He’s been thinking about opening another restaurant since November 2011. When he talked to people close to him about offering a Mexican menu, he was told that he had to try Nate’s tacos. He promptly visited Nate’s Taco Truck Stop on 2nd Street. Shami said his sampling of Nate’s food were the best tacos “I’ve ever had.”
Shortly after visiting Nate’s 2nd Street location, Shami read an RVANews article announcing that, for various reasons, Nate would be closing his location in Jackson Ward at the end of 2011. In the article, Nate, a husband and father of two children, lamented that he did not have either the financial resources to allow the 2nd Street business to grow, or to serve in all capacities of restaurant ownership: accountant, head chef, dishwasher, etc. The article, according to Shami, “spoke” to him.
Shortly after reading the RVANews article, Shami contacted Nate with this pitch: I’ll run the business side of things, you just focus on making great food. Nate accepted the offer (Nate Gutierrez could not be reached for comment).
“We still have a long way to go,” said Shami, who hopes that the restaurant, named Don’t Look Back, will open in March of this year. Along with serving food, Don’t Look Back will also have a bar and, contrary to Nate’s 2nd Street location, will be a sit-down restaurant.
- Nate on closing his Taco Truck Stop; RVANews
- Nate’s Taco Truck serves up a local favorite; RVANews
- Nate’s Taco Truck and LivingSocial: a marriage of (beneficial) inconvenience; RVANews
photo by Erica Terrini