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Banditos will bring its 'taco temple' to downtown Sarasota

Maryland-based Banditos Tacos & Tequila will occupy the former Tavern on Main Brewery location as it makes its Florida debut, featuring the chain's first rooftop patio.

A rendering of the planned Banditos Tacos & Tequila at the former Tavern on Main location at 1468 Main St., which the company plans to open in fall 2023.
A rendering of the planned Banditos Tacos & Tequila at the former Tavern on Main location at 1468 Main St., which the company plans to open in fall 2023.
Courtesy rendering
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Sarasota is getting a new “taco temple.” Baltimore Maryland-based Banditos Tacos & Tequila plans to open its first Florida location in fall 2023 at 1468 Main St., the site of the never-opened Tavern on Main Brewery.

The restaurant describes itself as a "taco temple inspired by the mouthwatering flavors of Mexican street food."

With four restaurants in Maryland, one in Virginia and two new locations coming to those states, Sarasota is the most far-flung site from its base. Banditos Senior Vice President of Marketing Jen Cruise said it won’t be the last in the Sunshine State.

Sarasota was chosen as the first location, Cruise said, because of the year-round and seasonal populations, its status as a vacation destination and, perhaps most importantly, the weather. The local Banditos will be the first in the chain to offer rooftop dining, perhaps a prototype for future Florida restaurants.

The bar area of Banditos Tacos & Tequila in Arlington, Virginia is an example of the vibrant color scheme of the restaurants.
Courtesy photo

“We know the demographics for our type of cuisine, which really lends itself from young to old, so we have a very wide group that we appeal to, not just the locals but also vacationers,” Cruise said. “The weather really lends itself to year-round dining out, so it just made sense to bring our taco temple down to Florida.”

Another advantage, she said, is Sarasota being the spring training home to Baltimore Orioles, offering fans a familiar taste of home when visiting here.

“I wouldn't say that was the draw for us, but it is nice to have that there, too,” she said.

The Sarasota restaurant will be approximately 10,000 square feet, 5,000 on the first floor, and 3,000 indoor and 2,000 outdoor on the second. That will require some vertical construction. The building currently is only one floor.

Cruise said the company is currently in the bid process for a contractor, and a more accurate estimate to complete the space will be available sometime in March.

The planned Banditos Tacos & Tequila at 1468 Main St. includes a proposal for a rooftop lounge.
Courtesy rendering

Banditos is noted for its vibrant color scheme and atmosphere, Cruise said. The menu for one of its locations shows 19 taco varieties, seven burritos, bowls, sides one would expect from the genre, and 62 tequilas and 19 mezcals. Also from the agave plant, mezcal is processed differently from tequila, lending a more smoky flavor. 

“Banditos is really known for our unique flavor profile and our tacos. We really pride ourselves on our taco options and appealing to different flavor profiles from spicy to sweet,” Cruise said. “We’re also very well known for the extensive variety of tequilas and mezcals that we bring to our restaurants. We're really known for the vibrancy. We bring a lot of characteristics and personality and vibrant colors into the restaurant.”

More information about Banditos is available on the company’s website.



Andrew Warfield

Andrew Warfield is the Sarasota Observer city reporter. He is a four-decade veteran of print media. A Florida native, he has spent most of his career in the Carolinas as a writer and editor, nearly a decade as co-founder and editor of a community newspaper in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina.

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