Any brewpub owner will tell you that the best way to boost the bottom line of a restaurant is to brew your own beer. I remember when Pearl Street Grill & Brewery opened up back in the day. At the time, I thought to myself, that the place was going to make a killing, because it was brewing its own beer, which was slashing wholesale costs at the bar. The idea of having your own micro brewery is also pretty sexy. Between the cool looking tanks, the ability to switch up brews at any given whim, and the local appeal that comes along with it, there is not much downside to brewing in-house, if you have the space to do it.
When Deep South Taco owner Richard Hamilton first launched Lucha Brew this past summer, in conjunction with 42North Brewing Company, he immediately knew that he had stumbled upon something great. Being able to introduce a beer that appealed to his own tastes meant that he could offer his customers a freshly brewed beer that was designed to go hand-in-hand with his style of food. Hamilton also loves the idea of quality control, when it come to brewing. Because he works so closely with 42 North, he is able to source and verify the ingredients that go into the beer.
It was about the time that Deep South Taco’s Hertel Avenue location opened that Richard was approached about a third possible location. That location turned out to be the former Quaker Steak & Lube at 6727 Transit Road. Knowing that he was going to build a third location outside of the city at some point, he decided to scope out the location. It turned out that the spot was perfect for a number of reasons.
First, the location is highly trafficked. Second, the place is the perfect size for what he was looking for. Third, there’s plenty of parking. And fourth, due to the vast size, there’s room to build a micro brewery that will (hopefully) service all three restaurants. The restaurant seating area and bar will be built around the brewery, which will be positioned in the middle of the building. The brewing equipment will be visible (through glass) from almost any seating angle within the restaurant. The theme of the place will remain consistent with its two counterparts – only the brewery will set it apart. Hamilton does say that he will be adding a few new menu items to the third location, which might eventually make their way to his other restaurants.
Even though Hamilton is in the business of serving the best food and drinks that he can, he says that his first love is the city of Buffalo that he has come to call home.
“These restaurants are all Buffalo born,” said Hamilton. “We will soon be employing over 200 people, once this new restaurant opens. We have made giant investments in Buffalo. After this third business opens, we will be looking to open two additional concepts, soon, if suitable locations can be found.”
“Per the beer, we are going to work with 42North on more Mexican centric beers, like stout and other flavors with Mexican blends,” said Hamilton. “As far as we know, we are the first Mexican restaurant in the USA with its own brewery and beer (although thanks to a Buffalo Rising commentor, we have found out that there is at least one more).”
Lucha Brew boasts a nice balanced malt bill with some honey and caramel notes blended with the soft lemon-spice of German noble hops that finishes smooth and crisp.
According to Hamilton, the best part of the new brewery is the relationship that he has struck up with 42North, which he will be partnering with to run the brewing operation. “Right from the start, we have had an excellent relationship,” he told me. “Lucha Brew is not only the best seller at Deep South Taco locations, it is also one of 42North’s best selling beers at the brewery. We also made arrangement for our Nacho Libre Platters to be sold at 42North, which has become a big hit with their customers. I am so happy with the relationship that we have struck up. It’s mutually beneficial to both parties, and allows us to share the things that we are good at making.”
It won’t be long before Deep South Taco lands on Transit. When that happens, the operation will be (fingers crossed) fueling Deep South’s urban locales with fresh Lucha Brew – perfect for drinking on those hot summer nights, which are right around the corner.
Stay tuned regarding news on Deep South Taco’s upcoming Cinco de Mayo event, which Hamilton says will be the biggest and best event to date – “Something that the city has never seen!”
Lead image: Deep South/42North – Justine Powers, Lindsey, Burgmaster, Alex Sowyrda, Lucha wrestler, Richard Hamilton, Lucha wrestler and Clay Keel