Viva Tequila

Rocco's Tacos Will Open at University Town Center on March 6

The long-anticipated restaurant will feature traditional Mexican favorites, more than 300 tequilas and a generous happy hour.

By Lauren Jackson February 14, 2023

The bar at Rocco's Tacos and Tequila Bar Sarasota.

The bar at Rocco's Tacos and Tequila Bar Sarasota.

The South Florida-based Mexican restaurant chain Rocco’s Tacos and Tequila Bar will open its ninth location at University Town Center on March 6. With other locations in cities like West Palm Beach, Orlando and Naples, it makes sense that Sarasota is the next step in the restaurant’s expansion.

“Sarasota seemed like the right fit,” says owner Rocco Mangel. “People were driving up to Tampa from Sarasota and telling us. I’m hopeful that as much as we embrace Sarasota, Sarasota will embrace us.”

Guests at Rocco’s Tacos can expect to find, well, tacos, in addition to a myriad of other Mexican offerings like guacamole, molcajete, enchiladas, burritos and quesadillas. For Mangel, the birria tacos (crisp, cheesy tacos with braised beef and a dipping broth) are a favorite.

Birria tacos at Rocco's Tacos.

Birria tacos at Rocco's Tacos.

“Birria tacos are my go-to,” he says. “But if I want to go in a different direction, I might order a couple of appetizers instead.”

Rocco’s Tacos isn’t just focusing on fresh, flavorful food. The bar boasts more than 300 varieties of tequila, to enjoy neat, on the rocks, or to make your margarita extra special.

And speaking of margaritas, Rocco’s Tacos will offer happy hour at its expansive indoor-outdoor bar with drinks starting at just $5 from 4-7 p.m.

With nine restaurants, one might imagine Mangel has a busy schedule that keeps him from mingling with guests, but he prioritizes his restaurant presence, visiting each location regularly.

Rocco's Tacos owner Rocco Mangel.

Rocco's Tacos owner Rocco Mangel.

“I’ve been working in the business since I was 13," he says. "I love engaging with the guests; it’s the best part of my day. I’ve met guests who have become friends and family and we've built life-long relationships."

Mangel will be at the Sarasota opening and plans to help throughout the week, making new friendships along the way.

“I want to shake your hand and give you a hug," he says. "Come in and see me.”

Rocco’s Tacos will be open from 11 a.m.-12 a.m. Sunday and Monday, 11 a.m.-1 a.m., Tuesday and Wednesday, and 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Thursday through Saturday at 243 N. Cattleman Drive, Sarasota. For more information call (941) 477-8226 or click here.

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