RIO RANCHO – Joshua Martinez and his business partners are ready to leave a mark on Rio Rancho’s restaurant scene by launching Tap ‘N Taco next month.
Martinez, who grew up Albuquerque’s North Valley, previously resided in the City of Vision and currently lives in Chandler, Arizona, said the goal is to have Tap ‘N Taco open its doors by mid-November. The independent restaurant will be at 1120 N.M. 528, which used to be a Burger King.
Martinez, who owns the building, plans to stay in Chandler while his business partner Javier Chavira, who also owns Barbacoa El Primo in Albuquerque, runs Tap ‘N Taco. Joel Marquez and Juan Estala are also business partners of Martinez.
“I just love our home state. I’d like to invest back there, and that’s kind of where my upbringing and my roots are,” Martinez said, adding he still has a few properties across the Albuquerque metro area.
He said the concept of Tap ‘N Taco was inspired by a few non-red-meat taco restaurants in Las Vegas, Nevada, and San Diego.
Martinez said Tap ‘N Taco’s main taco items will include al pastor (spicy marinated pork with pineapple on top), carne asada (beef with red chile), carne pollo (seared chicken) and barbacoa (beef slow-cooked with seasonings). He also said the menu will include more vegan-friendly items such as tofu tacos, as well as options like fish and shrimp tacos.
He said the restaurant also has a full liquor license to offer eight local beer taps, four or five brands of bottled Mexican beer and margaritas.
He said the restaurant will feature four high-definition televisions for customers to watch sporting events, and he’s keeping the building’s drive-thru window for those who may not want to dine-in.
In the event COVID-19 cases increase again to the point where the state reissues a ban on indoor dining, Martinez said Tap ‘N Taco will be well-prepared with its drive-thru option and extra patio space.
“Essentially, we looked at all avenues of making sure that the business was going to be successful, whether it was indoor dining, outdoor dining and drive-thru. That’s where we’re at,” he said.
Martinez said he has a business doing professional staffing on large capital projects, adding he also does custom homebuilding and other commercial work.
Once Tap ‘N Taco is established in Rio Rancho, Martinez – who invested in several commercial buildings in Nob Hill and some Albuquerque storage facilities just off Montaño Road and Fourth Street – said he plans to add a location in Albuquerque and potentially Las Cruces.