Jorge Bouras ’17 was about to take his sophomore Hotel class idea — a food truck-turned Collegetown favorite — one step further.
The alumnus was just seven days away from finishing construction at his new Dos Amigos brick-and-mortar location when Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.) issued a stay-at-home order, effective March 22, putting the eatery’s opening date up in the air.
“The Thursday when Cuomo declared non-essential businesses to close, we had just gotten the hood [for the oven] that we need to finish construction,” Bouras told The Sun.
Inspired by his West Coast roots and a lack of authentic Mexican food in the area, Bouras opened the Dos Amigos truck as a Cornell junior in August 2015, dishing out tacos and burritos to the late-night crowd.
The truck’s resounding success pushed Bouras to establish a permanent location, originally slated to open on March 3. Construction delays and problems with city ordinances moved back the opening to late March.
Now, protective measures imposed to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 have left the opening date unknown.
“The timing is not ideal,” Bouras said of the complications. He was planning to use the storefront for take out and delivery orders after the state closed sit-down dining, but Bouras has since scrapped those plans.
With the College Avenue location yet to open, Bouras is moving his food truck to 536 Thurston Ave., next to Louie’s Lunch, until the end of the stay-at-home order to create an address that can be used for third-party food delivery sites like Uber Eats.
Opening a Collegetown spot means the food truck will permanently move to a location on Ithaca College’s campus, Bouras said. But this move will be on hold until at least August while campus remains quiet amid the pandemic.
Bouras said opening a brick-and-mortar location will eventually allow Dos Amigos to introduce new menu items, including beer and margaritas after applying for a liquor license. But for now, he said he just wants to get the restaurant open.
“We want to keep it as simple as possible,” Bouras said. “The moment they give the green light for non-essential businesses to resume operations, we’ll be open about seven to 10 days after that.”
Bouras said Collegetown’s reaction to the eatery has been immensely positive. His regulars are excited to enjoy his food without having to deal with Ithaca’s inclement weather.
The Dos Amigos truck remains open from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. from Wednesday to Sunday, serving food through Uber Eats alongside in-house delivery and take-out. They plan to be on DoorDash shortly.