Those taco fiends among us have been watching and waiting anxiously for Lonestar Taco to get off the ground. The locally-sourced Texas-inspired venture is being nurtured into life by Wayne Surber and Tracie Lee, a huband and wife team living in Bed Stuy, and in a city with too few breakfast tacos (“a travesty,” in their words), their opening can’t come soon enough.
Surber often goes by ‘Angry Wayne’ (and having worked front of house for him when he was the Executive Sous Chef at Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bakery, I can attest that he earned that title!) but Lonestar’s process has been anything but fast and furious. They’re broadcasting their progress through their Lonestar blog, offering some candid insights into the process of launching a taco shop.
Tracie and Wayne are building their small project deliberately, from the ground up, focusing on what they want in a business, what their neighbors are looking for in a restaurant, and, maybe just as crucially, looking at what they DON’T want to do.
Which brings us to the food truck question. Tracie and Wayne have been posting about their progress on the about everything from funding the venture to that runs through all the reasons they’re ignoring every Tom, Dick, and Harry who tells them that the path to success starts with a food truck. Some highlights:
7. No alcohol. When was the last time you had a beer at a food truck? Oh right, you haven’t…
9. “I’ll just sit down right down…” Where? Ever go to a truck and end up having a beverage, a few tacos, an iPhone, a bag of stuff you just bought? Where does that food usually end up? Yea, right, your lap or your shirt. Part of what we want to do with our restaurant is create a space where people can gather and chat, sit and relax and drink beer, and, down the road…plant a garden. Not really happening on a truck. Ok, you could plant a garden on the roof, I’ve seen that.
10. “Excuse me, do you have a bathroom?” Ohhh, right. Got a baby to change? Just had one too many coffees? Sure, you know that that Starbucks on 57th and 8th has a nice one, but 7 blocks, is that reasonable? Not to mention, hey, did you just wash your hands? Gee, I wonder why everyone is getting sick all the time.
All good points…Tracie also shares some insights their research has revealed: food trucks aren’t much cheaper than a brick and mortar space, many neighborhoods and brick-and-mortar businesses hate them, and you pay your rent in parking tickets. That said, no one will argue that there are food trucks making great food – check out the trucks she and Wayne are digging on Lonestar’s blog.
So, no truck for Lonestar, but don’t worry – Wayne and Tracie will be tossing tacos your way at two events in the coming weeks. Find them at Bed Stuy Alive! on Saturday the 8th or at Bed-Stuy’s neighborhood Block Wide Stoop Sale on Saturday October 15th, where they’ll be slinging tacos in front of their house. Get more details here, take a deep breath, and relax. The tacos are coming–you just might have to wait a bit. But as they say, anticipation makes the heart grow fonder…