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Taco del Mar sets grand opening March 28 in Watertown


Fish tacos, enchiladas and giant burritos coupled with slow-simmered rice, beans and tortillas will be the specialty of Taco del Mar, which will open March 28 at the Arsenal Street strip plaza in front of the Walmart Supercenter.

With seating for 36 people, the eatery will offer Mexican food at affordable prices to keep customers coming back, said Gary L. Turck of Lowville, franchise owner. The restaurant will be staffed by 15 employees.

Taco del Mar is headquartered in Seattle and has about 179 locations throughout the U.S. and Canada; but it is a rare breed in New York state, where it has stores only in Rome and Schenectady. Mr. Turck said he plans to change that trend by opening more locations in the north country.

“One of the hottest restaurant food chains to get into right now is Mexican, and I thought this would be a good first opening of Taco del Mar in Watertown,” said Mr. Turck, who has been a Subway restaurant franchise operator since 2005 and owns stores in Lowville, Carthage, Boonville and Old Forge. “And from here, I’d like to open probably four more locations; probably one more in Jefferson County, one in Lewis County and others maybe in St. Lawrence or Oneida counties.”

Mr. Turck has leased the space for the eatery from Morgan Route 202 Shops LLC, a subsidiary of developer Morgan Management, Pittsford. The move came after developer P.J. Simao sold the 13,500-square-foot plaza building Jan. 31 to Morgan for $2.35 million, according to Jefferson County property records. Along with Taco del Mar, Pro Spa nail salon is expected to open at the strip mall this spring.

Morgan’s purchase of the strip mall complements its 394-unit Preserve at Autumn Ridge townhouse complex under construction, less than one mile away off County Route 202 in the town of Watertown. The swelling population generated by that development, along with the 296-unit Beaver Meadows townhouse complex under construction off Towne Center Drive, factored into opening Taco del Mar off Arsenal Street, Mr. Turck said.

He said relatively affordable prices, along with a distinctive menu, should enable it to compete with other Watertown eateries, such as nearby Mexican establishments Chipotle Mexican Grill, Moe’s Southwest Grill and Taco Bell.

The eatery will be open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week. Taco del Mar’s menu can be viewed at

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