When 303 Cafe on Sumner Street closed about a decade ago, it left an undeniable void along Sumner Street. The popular business was one of the first hip gastro pubs to open in the neighborhood long before places like the Quiet Few, Cunard Tavern and Renegades became commonplace.
Sadly, the storefront at 303 Sumner St. has been vacant since 303 Cafe closed, but now a local casual Mexican chain with already established locations in Weymouth and Franklin is looking to activate the space.
At Monday night’s Jeffries Point Neighborhood Association meeting, owner of Santa Fe Burrito Grill Carlos Echavarria, said his company is looking to open its third location in Eastie and will offer typical Mexican fare along with a full bar and indoor and outdoor patio seating.
“We have been looking to do something in the community for a long time and finally we have a great spot,” said Echavarria. “With locations around Massachusetts we are looking to offer casual Mexican food with fresh ingredients and we hope our food concepts will be something the community loves.”
Echavarria said the whole idea behind Sante Fe is to offer good food quickly.
“As you know with the pandemic, we discovered that people like things a little faster,” said Echavarria. “What we’re doing right now at our other location is fast casual service”
What Echavarria described at Monday’s JPNA meeting is similar to the concept popularized by other Mexcian chains like Chipotle or Anna’s Taqueria, where customers come in, pick their options and either take it home or sit down inside the restaurant to enjoy your meal.
“The menu is a very simple menu,” said Echavarria. “To go along with our indoor dining options we hope to get a full liquor license so we can offer margaritas and different beers. While the space is small it is an amazing layout, with the option for a patio dining in the back for customers.”
Echavarria said Santa Fe would close nightly at 11 Monday through Sunday.
“Usually smaller restaurants are closed on Sunday but the idea here is that sometimes you don’t really want to cook,” said Echavarria. “Our concept is to try to make this location friendly for everybody–including East Boston families. We’re thinking about the whole community. We’re not thinking about having a place that just serves food but a place that sells an experience–a place that the community feels welcomed.”
Some neighbors were concerned that the outdoor patio may be a bit noisy at night but Echavarria said there would be no live music and more of a place where customers can quietly enjoy a meal with family or friends.