Taco joint opens in Holland

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Taco + Bar, a restaurant that serves Mexican food and agave spirits, is now open in downtown Holland.

Butch TerHaar, who also owns and manages Butch’s Dry Dock in downtown Holland, said the 1,700-square-foot Taco + Bar restaurant — part of the Butch’s Restaurant portfolio — is officially open about seven blocks from Butch’s, at 220 W. Eighth St., after a soft launch in September.

Dustin TerHaar, Butch TerHaar’s son, is the general manager, and Raudel Garcia is the chef.

Butch TerHaar noted the Taco + Bar concept focuses on serving tacos “rooted in traditional flavors” as well as a robust selection of tequila and mezcal spirits and other drinks.

“Chef (Garcia) and I did a trip to southern California, honing our concept in order to bring back the best tasting street tacos to Holland, meeting with local chefs and visiting their establishments where the local cuisine is prolific with this style of food,” TerHaar said.

“I also feel one of the things missing in Holland is a good tequila bar, where you can get a broad selection of tequilas and mezcals, margaritas and palomas made from fresh-squeezed citrus, or a craft cocktail like an Oaxacan old fashioned or, my favorite, the saladito. … The idea is to have an incredible bar offering focused on the agave plant, not to mention we will also have draft Mexican beers, local draft beer, a small selection of wines and other non-agave liquors, as well as other alcoholic and nonalcoholic drink offerings for people.”

Dustin TerHaar said Taco + Bar is intentionally community-based and developed around the company’s goal to provide new experiences for patrons in a warm environment.

“It is easy, but elevated. Tacos are comfort food, they are handheld, they are approachable,” he said. “Our goal is to very much continue to create environments under the Butch’s umbrella that have that warmth, that have that embracing atmosphere where people can come back to and know your name. You want to go to a place where you feel taken care of, and that has always been a driving factor for me.”

Garcia, who has been a longtime member of the culinary team at Butch’s, created a menu for Taco + Bar that will feature appetizers, including pico de gallo, queso, guacamole and chicarones; tacos such as the al pastor taco with roasted pineapple, red onion and cilantro; and carnitas tacos with pickled onion, queso fresco and cilantro.

Other tacos will include fried cauliflower with red cabbage slaw, yum sauce and lime; blackened fish featuring roasted corn salsa, chipotle crema and cilantro; chicken tinga with black beans and fresh salsa; and carne asada featuring radish, xni pec and salsa verde.

“Food is such a great conversation starter, and so many people are brought together by food,” Garcia said. “Traditions are really important, and I really like learning the history about them, but also I like to spin off of it and try new things.”

Garcia said Taco + Bar will source locally as much as possible, but some chiles and ingredients are not native to the state.

Taco + Bar has an indoor capacity of about 49 patrons and an outdoor patio that can accommodate up to 48 people.

Hours are 4-10 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and noon-10 p.m. Saturday with COVID-19 precautions in place for dine-in. The restaurant also will offer curbside pickup and takeout.

Holland-based SVB + Reckley Architects helped to convert the three-story building from its previous design to an “artistic industrial” vibe that features a bar countertop with Dutch-reminiscent patterned tiles.

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