Toro Tapas & Tequila in Patchogue was among the highest-ranked restaurants in the area.
But a 4.5 on Yelp and 4.4 on Google wasn’t paying the bills.
“We were executing well, but it turned into a special occasion place,” said Toro owner Ariel Bonilla, who opened in August 2016. “Our regulars we would only see every three months. I tried to hang in there but I couldn’t do it any more.”
So now he’s going to have some fun.
The eclectically decorated and aggressively affordable Nahcho Papi opened on Saturday, Jan. 26, serving up traditional dishes from South and Central America.
Bonilla is describing the concept as a Latin Pub.
The renovations were ongoing, and started in November (more photos below).
As for the name, Bonilla said he was “trying to be creative and punny.”
“It’s really a creative restaurant,” he said. “I’m just going with the flow right now.”
The good news for Toro lovers is that executive chef Andres Molina, who’s cooked Spanish and Castilian small plates at Toro for the past two years, is staying on board.
“Same chef, different concept,” Bonilla said of Molina, who’s originally from Ecuador. “But this is his bread and butter; this is his thing.”
Bonilla and the staff are especially excited about increased volume, which explains some of the price points such as the $8 skirt steak with rice, fries and fried plantains.
“That’s a 10-ounce skirt steak,” said Bonilla. “It’s crazy but we want that volume, and that bar crowd. We want to become an instant favorite with regulars and locals.”
The specialty cocktail menu also includes a Cucumber CBD Margarita ($16).
The place is decked out in whimsical Latin artwork. And, there are plans to reintroduce some tapas off the old menu come summer, such as the grilled octopus.
“Like Toro, we want to serve the best food and best drinks possible,” Bonilla said.
if you go
Nahcho Papi is located toward the eastern end of the village, just past New Patchogue Village Fitness & Spa (formerly Finest Fitness). The address is 224 East Main Street, though the entrance and parking is off Rider Avenue. The phone number is 631-438-0775. Click here for the menu. There’s on-site parking and typically plenty of municipal parking behind the gym.
The hours are Monday through Thursday, 4 – 10 p.m., Friday, 4 – 11 p.m., Saturday 3 – 11 p.m., and Sunday 3 – 9 p.m. The hours are new and subject to change.