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Dirty Taco + Tequila to replace One Block East in Wantagh

One Block East in Wantagh, now closed, specialized

One Block East in Wantagh, now closed, specialized in burgers. Photo Credit: Newsday/Erica Marcus

Adios One Block East, hello Dirty Taco + Tequila. The 3-year-old restaurant named for its location east of the Wantagh State Parkway in Wantagh served its last burger, barbecue and beer on Monday.

Dirty Taco + Tequila, a taqueria and bar, is set to open in the same space in late June with new owners, renovated decor, a “street taco” menu and tequila-heavy bar. One of the new wrinkles will be a garage-door entrance inspired by similar streetside eateries in Manhattan and LA.

The new owners are AnnMarie Cataldo, president of Luxe Staffing and Events, in Bellmore, which supplies staffing to hospitality businesses, and her son Tom Cataldo Jr., both of Massapequa.

Tom Cataldo Sr., a professional catering manager on Long Island, who is also helping to open the new restaurant, said his son came up with the idea for a restaurant serving “gritty, Lower East Side/LA kind of street food” that fuses Mexican and Korean cuisine. They plan to serve 15 types of tacos. One of the signature tacos will fold Korean barbecue-glazed marinated strip steak and kimchi into a corn or flour tortilla, Cataldo Sr., said.

The full bar will specialize in tequila drinks, but will also muddle up a rum Mojito or pour a fresh beer for you. “We’re going to be working with a lot of local breweries for craft ales,” Cataldo said. 

One Block East's owner, Dennis Kaplan, a Cataldo family friend, says he’ll be staying on as a limited partner and will also work at the restaurant a few nights a week.

Dirty Taco + Tequila will be at  3261 Merrick Rd, Wantagh.

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