Less than six months after opening their second Sofrito Restaurant, owners Hector and Ana Batista are already in the process of opening not one, but two, new concepts.
One of those, the Food Truck Village, is slated to open at 101 Pennsylvania Ave. on the outskirts of downtown Greer this summer. The other, Sofrito Rotisserie, is set to open at the Publix shopping center in Taylors this winter.
The growth comes as the Batistas are finally putting in motion plans they’ve had in the works for some time and another plan that was born from observing the market and adapting.
“I don’t consider it work, because I enjoy it so much, and the fact we can contribute to providing, help the economy and provide work and help grow the individuals around us,” said Hector Batista, in between stops at the food truck village and Sofrito Downtown. “It’s rewarding.”
The Upstate’s first food truck park
Initially, the Batistas saw potential for creating a food truck park in Greenville.
They were eyeing a property at the corner of Mauldin Road and Pleasantburg Drive, but the partnership in the space never quite materialized and so the Batistas were searching anew.
They figured they’d find a place in Greenville, but when they saw the space that housed Rosie’s Hot Dogs in Greer for 30 years, they knew they’d found a home for the concept.
That concept includes a mix of food trucks and a permanent counter-service restaurant.
The former hot dog space is on track to be converted into a small café that will serve items such as paninis, flatbreads and hot dogs. It will also serve as a bar selling drinks including beer and wine.
Plans call for transforming the outside space into an oasis of sorts, with covered outdoor seating, a deck and hanging lights. The goal is to have about five food trucks present at all times, with the trucks rotating on a weekly basis.
Trucks will pay a small fee that will go toward covering the cost of utilities and upkeep, Batista said.
Among the trucks will always be the Batistas’ Cuban coffee and dessert truck, which will serve Cuban coffee and warm desserts like bread pudding and sweet empanadas, as well as ice cream.
Once open, Batista hopes to feature live music on Fridays and Saturdays and a happy hour with discounted beverages and bites.
Ordering for food trucks will be done via QR code, but guests will be able to order beverages and other food at the counter inside.
“I hope it becomes a place where people know they can have great food and a family community atmosphere,” Batista said. “But I want it to be a community where the community is supporting small local entrepreneurs.”
The idea for a casual-quick-service hybrid concept has been cooking for over a year.
Initially, the Batistas thought about bringing the concept to the West End space, but the restaurant footprint in that location was much larger, so it made more sense to bring their full-service Softiro Latin Restaurant & Bar concept there instead.
The idea has grown out of innovation and necessity. With continued challenges in staffing restaurants, Sofrito Rotisserie allows for great food and efficient service without having to rely too heavily on lots of staff, Batista said.
The 1,500-square-foot space in Taylors will be a hybrid quick-service and sit-down spot. Guests will be able to order at a counter and will be given a pager that, once they are seated at a table, will alert the kitchen of their order and place in the dining room.
Servers will then bring food to tables.
The focus is high-quality and fast.
The food will center on the traditional Latin American sauce called “wasakaka.” The garlic-citrus herb sauce is often paired with chicken.