Chilacates, a popular counter-service restaurant with two locations in Jamaica Plain, will be expanding to Mission Hill. Socrates Abreu, the owner of the restaurants, said that the lease has been secured for 1480 Tremont St., across from the Tobin Community Center, and hopes to get the restaurant up and running by early 2018.
The team is working on the architectural part of the building, and will be bringing a proposal to the community to hear feedback. This isn’t a necessary step for opening a new business within zoning requirements, but Abreu said he wants to hear the community’s input and plans on presenting the idea to a community meeting soon.
For Abreu and his team, the new business is not about making a lot of money.
“We’re in it because we love it, and the money is secondary,” Abreu said. “It has to feel right and there has to be a connection. I’m truly blessed to have people that truly love each other and believe in the concept.”
Socrates Abreu is the owner of Chilacates, but the expanding restaurant is truly a team effort. On the phone with the Gazette while shopping for a new grill for the restaurant, Abreu listed what sounded like every one of his family members and friends that are involved with Chilacates, and how much passion all of them have for creating tasty and authentic food.
“I’ve got a big group of family behind me working hard,” Abreu said. “I treat everyone as fairly as possible and I encourage growth as much as possible. The more growth, the more volume, the better it is for all of us.”
Abreu said that the other locations already have their regular customers that come from the Mission Hill neighborhood, and wants to open the new restaurant to be able to serve those people closer to their homes.
“I still think there’s families around there. There’s still kids growing up around there, not just students or the medical community or professionals,” Abreu said. “We like to feed everybody, and it doesn’t matter what demographic.
Chilacates cuisine is made by Dominican-American and Mexican-American chefs, and Abreu emphasizes authenticity as a core value of the restaurant.
In the other locations, while all the menu items are popular, burritos and tacos are the most popular food items, especially the el pastor taco and the chicken tinga meat.
“I don’t think there’s one thing that shines more than another, but a good variety of things,” Abreu said.
Abreu said there may be some other plans for the future, but to stay posted for more details.