Boka Tako Truck owner Patrick Harris in June opened Boka Kantina across from Regency Mall. The 1,500-square-foot space at 1412 Starling Dr. will serve as a restaurant and home base for the company’s catering business.
It’s another piece of Harris’s little local food empire.
“I’m in the process of developing catering menus ranging from the Rolls Royce of catering to the Ferrari of catering to the Mercedes of catering to the Ford of catering all the way to the Kia,” Harris said. “When people want something, we’re normally yes men. Very rarely do I find things that are too short of notice or too big to do.”
The space already had a commercial kitchen and all the necessary health and occupancy permits, which made it a convenient choice, Harris said.
Boka Kantina’s menu will provide more options than what’s offered through Harris’s fleet of two Boka carts, two Boka trucks and the Grate Pizza truck.
“We’re not full service by any means. But it’s an upscale uber-casual restaurant,” he said.
Harris started Boka in 2010 and was instrumental in creating the former RVA Food Truck Court, one of the early efforts to organize the now blossoming local food truck scene. That baton has been picked up by RVA Street Foodies, which organizes several food truck courts across town. Its most recent addition is in Short Pump.
Harris is not the first food trucker to expand to a storefront. Estes BarB’Que is working on a space at 317 N. Second St. in Jackson Ward.
The former Nate’s Taco Truck had a small carryout space in Jackson Ward but closed in December 2011 after two years.
In a reverse of the trend, some brick-and-mortar eateries, such as Gelati Celesti, have decided to launch food trucks.