8 weeks in, taquería decides to expand

Owner and head chef Patrick Harris talks to diners at Boka Kantina. (Photos by Michael Thompson)

Owner and head chef Patrick Harris talks to diners at Boka Kantina. (Photos by Michael Thompson)

Two months after putting down roots for his first storefront restaurant, Boka Tako Truck owner Patrick Harris is taking more space.

The newly launched Boka Kantina leased a second storefront next to its West End restaurant at 1412 Starling Dr. The expansion gives the business more space for hungry customers, Harris said.

Chef Megan Moore works in the kitchen.

Chef Megan Moore works in the kitchen.

“We were turning people away at the door,” he said.

Boka Kantina now uses the unit next door, which is about the same size as the 1,500-square-foot restaurant, for storage. He has added more chairs to the dining room, which serves lunch and dinner.

The restaurant opened this summer near Regency Square Mall. It’s the latest addition to Harris’ three-year-old mini-empire that includes catering, three Boka Tako trucks, the Grate Pizza truck and two Boka Tako carts.

Harris added pizza to the Asian-Mexican-American menu and expanded the beer selection. Boka Kantina now offers 30 beers and has eight Virginia craft beers on tap.

The restaurant’s interior might add an action movie theme: Harris said he plans to add posters of Bruce Lee, Danny Trejo of the film “Machete” and Chuck Norris alongside the French impressionist paintings.

With a fleet of food trucks gearing up for November festivals, Harris said he hopes to get his restaurant running as smoothly as his carts and trucks.

“We have a prep-intensive menu,” Harris said. “We want to fine-tune what we have going [in the restaurant] and get it as balanced as the food trucks are.”

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