Marc LaMaina’s characterization of his newest Lucharitos restaurant neatly sums it up: “There’s a lot going on here.”
The Center Moriches venue, which sprawls over more than an acre, comprises multiple outdoor dining areas — cafe tables on a patio, picnic tables in a field, a long communal table under an open-sided, wooden-slat Quonset hut. The picnic tables have a fine view of a field planted with peppers, onions, tomatillos, tomatoes, broccoli, corn, watermelon, cantaloupe, strawberries, cilantro, rosemary and more. The honey bees are already in residence; chickens and quail are imminent, as is a farm stand.
There’s a vintage Airstream trailer that will host parties of up to a dozen people and lawn games that will soon be joined by a supervised outdoor play area / obstacle course for kids.
“I created my own dream of where I want to go to eat with my family," LaMaina said. 'I wanted to create a super family-friendly environment for food and drink and education where I can kick back and relax.”
The menu will be familiar to patrons of the original Lucharitos in Greenport (est. 2012), and Little Lucharitos, which hatched in Aquebogue in 2017: an exuberant take on Mexican and Mexican American street food — tacos filled with coconut shrimp, quesadillas made with Crescent Farm duck — all washed down with premium tequilas, beer and Mexican soft drinks.
“Luchafarm” (as LaMaina has taken to calling it) will have a full-service restaurant with about 16 seats; it’s due to be completed in September. For now “Lil Lucharitos Taco Truck” is parked on the premises and acts as the kitchen. Right next to the truck is a smoker whose pork butts and brontosaurus ribs may also grace the menus in Greenport and Aquebogue.
Center Moriches isn’t even LaMaina’s only summer project. Lucharitos Burrito Bar is due to open in Mattituck Plaza in July. And he’s “hoping” that the fifth Lucharitos, now being built in the new shopping center in front of Uncle Giuseppe’s on Route 110 in Melville, will be ready by February.
The man has certainly earned the right to kick back and relax.
Lucharitos is at 177 Main St., Center Moriches, 631-400-9625; 119 Main St., Greenport, 631-477-6666; 487 Main Rd., Aquebogue, 631-779-3681; lucharitos.com