The Taco Trio in South Portland is walking down the street into a building that is now home to Big Babe̵7;s Tavern, a music venue, bars and restaurants looking for a new location in South Portland.
Karen Rasmussen, owner of Taco Trio with Manny Pena, said they had a “big plan” to renovate the 24-seat restaurant at 119 Ocean St., but “it turned out to be a cost and problem nightmare.”
“When we got all the estimates for that renovation, it was very high on the astronomical scale,” she said, “and we had to shut it down, maybe for a year. Why don’t we go there? ‘& rdquo;
Rasmussen said the purchase of the building on Ocean and C Streets allowed the restaurant to expand – Big Babe’s had 64 indoor and 20 additional outdoor seats and added a bar. It’s an interesting synonym that we’ve been wanting to do for a long time, ”she said.
Taco Trio is working to open a new location at 27 Elm St. in Saco.
The new location south of Portland, which she doesn’t expect to open for at least another four weeks, will eventually serve breakfast, Rasmussen said.The old taco trio area will be used as a kitchen for preparing meals.
Ginger Cote, owner of Big Babe’s Tavern, put the building on the market last summer for $ 3.1 million, about six months after it opened. The business opened in January 2020 but had to shut down less than two months later due to the outbreak. Open again briefly in the fall for takeout.
Big Babe spent four years building the Cote, she said, because the tavern was open for such a short time: “I went through the cracks with money and help. I just entered a hole that no honest woman could dig out. So I decided to sell and it was a tough decision. ”
But she was happy with the things that happened.
“This is a happy change,” she said. I choose them I have several other buyers and I choose them. I love them. I like what they do and I think they deserve a nice big area. It felt like the right thing. “
Cote said she is still looking for a new location for Big Babe’s, which she wants to keep in South Portland. New iterations will have smaller menus, but mostly bars and music venues, she said, not restaurants. She plans to keep the title.
Cote said she’ll be back on Ocean and C Streets when the sign outside says Taco Trio.
“I’m going there to eat tacos and drink tequila,” she said.
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