Nacho Tacos to Bring Late Night Meals to Downtown Beverly
BEVERLY, MA – Late night tacos are finally coming to Rantoul Street.
It was March 2020 when Nacho Tacos co-owner Shahab Afsharian said he and his business partner Francisco Lepe first planned to open a restaurant in downtown Beverly. The location – nestled between two breweries that didn’t have their own kitchens – seemed perfect for the experience of bringing authentic Mexican food to Beverly to a presumably enthusiastic and approachable audience.
Then came the break in the world with the onset of the coronavirus crisis which Afsharian says almost derailed Nacho Tacos’ best-laid plans.
“We were going to go all-in last March,” he told Patch on Tuesday. “Then it hardly happened. We hardly did.
“It was a big, big investment on our part to make this facility work for us.”
The couple got through the pandemic, but never gave up on their vision of the space between Gentile Brewing Company and Old Planter’s Brewing Co. The idea of providing that late-night option – especially in times when the state required a purchase of food with alcohol order – remained intriguing until late fall, when they decided to take the proverbial step.
“We decided to go there,” Afsharian said. “We figured we’d either be the idiots who spent a million dollars to open a taco restaurant (in a pandemic) and fail, or that would be awesome.”
Fast forward seven months, and Afsharian and Lepe are set to make their smooth opening on Wednesday with a full online order available Monday after Nacho Tacos closes on Sunday for July 4th.
Afsharian, from Mexico City, said he saw himself as the “guy with the vision” as he trusted Lepe – a Guadalajara native who spent more than 20 years operating and managing the kitchens of Mexican restaurants – with food.
“I think we know what we’re doing,” Afsharian said.
Afsharian said corn tortillas are made from scratch every day and “we try to keep them as authentic as possible.”
The space has a seating capacity of 24, take-out service, a take-out window for Gentile Brewing, and QR codes at Planter’s where customers can order directly from Nachos Tacos. There are also six dedicated parking spaces.
“We are surrounded by breweries that don’t serve food,” Afsharian said. “And what goes better with beer than tacos?” “
Afsharian said the arrangement is inspired by Mexican restaurants which will stay open until 5 a.m. to serve customers as they empty local bars at the end of the night.
The latest call arrives a little earlier than Beverly’s, but Afsharian said with a closing time of 1 or 1:30 a.m., Nachos Tacos is hoping to fill a similar void in the city.
“There’s nothing after 9 am here,” he said. “We’re the only fools who want to open downtown so late.
“We’ll see how it goes. “
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(Scott Souza is a Patch Field Editor covering Beverly, Danvers, Marblehead, Peabody, Salem and Swampscott. He can be contacted at [email protected] Twitter: @Scott_Souza.