After more than a year of renovations, an old Boulevard porn shop’s transformation into a taquería is still a work in progress.
But Patrick Stamper and Randy O’Dell, owners of En Su Boca, say the restaurant is only a few weeks away from opening in the former Triangle Book Store at 1001 N. Boulevard.
The pair, who also own BellyTimber Tavern in the Fan, took over the 1,300-square-foot Boulevard space last year.
Charlie Diradour, whose Lion’s Paw Development purchased the property in late 2011 for $225,000, said the structure needed new flooring, walls and electrical components. The development has cost about $350,000, he said.
“I’ve had a lot of people on the streets come up and ask me ‘when will I be able to eat a taco?’ You know, just wait and you’ll be able to eat a taco,” Diradour said.
The building was a Texaco gas station in the 1950s, and became the Triangle Book Store in the 1970s. The book store closed in 2011.
En Su Boca passed its electrical inspection with the city and underwent gas and mechanical inspections on Friday, Stamper said.
If all goes well with the final inspection, they’ll apply for a health permit, ABC license and a certificate of occupancy, he said.
The pair’s third partner in En Su Boca, San Francisco-based chef Eric Stangarone, is flying to Richmond this week to fire up the burners. Still, Stamper said it would be a few weeks before the restaurant opens.
When it does, he expects a boost from visitors to the nearby Redskins training camp facility, Squirrels fans on their way to and from the Diamond, and workers gutting the old Interbake building behind the restaurant.
Diradour says the restaurant will be worth the wait.
“These guys have done it the absolute right way,” he said. “Patrick and Randy have not missed a beat. There’s been a lot of anticipation about this place opening up, but sometimes good things take a while.”