Despite many challenges associated with opening a new restaurant during a pandemic, a local restaurateur plans to launch Locals Tacos & Tequila in the Great Falls Plaza in Potomac Falls this fall.
Jim Speros, founder of Velocity Wings and Social House Kitchen and Tap, told the Times-Mirror he is eager to dive into the new venture, which has been in the works for about two years.
“I wanted to open a taqueria for my next concept. It will be a sit-down restaurant [that] is edgy, funky and a little different from the normal Mexican-style restaurant,” he said.
Speros has been working with chef Jose Lovo to develop the menu, which will offer about 15 to 20 tacos as well as fajitas, guacamole, queso and salads. There will be 40 types of tequila and 15 flavors of margaritas on the bar menu, he said.
“We have worked hard on the menu — we are excited. We have a great staff with real talent, and we feel very comfortable moving forward in the shopping center here,” he said.
The 2,300-square-foot space was previously occupied by the acclaimed restaurant Mokomandy, which closed in June amid the COVID-19 pandemic. At full capacity, the eatery will hold 65 seats – 50 for dining and 15 at the bar, as well as 12 patio seats.
Speros is working on cosmetic renovations, including new paint, new furniture and adding a garage door open up the front to the patio.
“It will be a fun place to come. I’m excited about the chef-inspired ingredients and recipes. They are mouth-watering — with a big wow factor,” he said.
Speros plans to focus on the takeout and delivery program initially, which will be vital to succeed when seating is limited.
“Tacos travel well. We will also have family packs and catering options,” he said.
The restaurateur plans to expand the new concept quickly. He has signed a lease to open another Locals Tacos and Tequila in the Dominion Valley Center in Haymarket by the end of the year.
“It is fitting that our first Locals Tacos & Tequila location will be in our own backyard,” Speros said. “We have been operating Velocity Wings in the Great Falls Plaza since 2008. We know the Potomac Falls/Lowe’s Island community very well, and they have been wonderful to us.”