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Deep South Taco one of the first Mexican restaurants in the USA with its own brewery and beer

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.”

Deep South Taco’s Mexican brunch is a big hit, with breakfast nachos, huevos ranchero, mexi-hash, churro french toast, chorizo tacos, along with bottomless mimosas with an entree, and award winning Bloody Mary!

“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

Written by queenseyes

queenseyes

Newell Nussbaumer is ‘queenseyes’ – Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world’s largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at The Hotel @ The Lafayette, and the Madd Tiki Winter Luau. Other projects: Navigetter.

Contact Newell Nussbaumer | Newell@BuffaloRising.com

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  • jmilles

    Sigh… It’s not the first; a quick Google search identifies a couple of others:
    http://cazuelasmexicangrill.com
    http://www.rickbayless.com/restaurants/cerveceria-cruz-blanca/

    • Buffaloexpat

      Admendum. “In buffalo, but I got you to click didn’t I!”

      • Richard Hamilton

        My mistake if it’s true. I accept responsibility if it’s true. Wasn’t aware after research

    • Richard Hamilton

      Rick isn’t brewing beer. I asked him recently

      • Pat

        lloyd STILL brings the most authentic tortillas to Buffalo on a daily basis. Corn tortillas made from non-GMO corn using the age old Aztec process, nixtamalization. No other place in the area does that. These corn tortillas are sold on the trucks, in the Taco Factory, on any catering, and will continue to be used once the Williamsville Taco Factory opens this summer. Checkout their page for the info you need to stay in the know: http://whereslloyd.com/tortillas/

        • Richard Hamilton

          Hey Pat. Unfortunately this just inst complately accurate. There are several places in Buffalo making authentic shells. Yes they do a good job from where they buy them but several others make in house from scratch

    • Richard Hamilton

      Wasn’t aware of cazuela. Thank you for correcting me and informing me. My error

  • qwerty1010

    So the former Don Pablo’s Mexican Restaurant is going to be a DST (That’s what the building was built for on Transit road before it was Quaker Steak and Lube). Great, so something that was unique and brought people into Downtown and now Hertel is no longer unique. There will be no reason for the suburbanites to make the drive into the city and they’ll stick to their beloved Transit road. I guess that’s both a pro and con…

    • jonny99

      “Great, so something that was unique and brought people into Downtown and now Hertel is no longer unique”. Same with Lloyd and Anchor Bar, exporting unique city joints to the burbs

      • Richard Hamilton

        Based on what we find out, the burbs residents dont drive into the city for meals. Only when they are coming already fro events, concerts, hockey etc do they eat in city establishments.

        • HP MegaVeg

          I’m not sure I’d make a blanket generalization like that as many of us are happy to go Downtown for a meal, it certainly depends on the type of restaurant. Tacos and wings are not necessarily a draw to make the dreaded 8 mile drive, excellent as they are 🙂

          • Richard Hamilton

            I only meant in terms of $3, $4 & $5 tacos. Sorry for not being clear on my point

  • Johnny Pizza

    “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.”
    If its cheaper to make why do brew pubs command higher beer prices than any domestic mass market beer brand?

    • jonny99

      Making craft beer on site is cheaper in the long run than buying craft beer at wholesale prices, but I would imagine the raw ingredients are still more expensive than mass marketed brands… not apples to apples.

      • Johnny Pizza

        Ah I see what he means there, but I guess I still don’t think its always true. Think of a product like white undershirts. Sure you could make them yourself but considering all that would go into making them it makes some sense to just buy Hanes or Fruit of the Loom. Same reason most people buy bread rather than bake it themselves. Even with brewing you need the space, a professional brewer and all the tools and ingredients to get beer into a barrel. If you buy from a brewer they already have done all that and baked it into the cost of the barrel they sell you.

  • OldFirstWard

    Nice shoes Richard.