Dab Tacos will occupy the space between The Modernist and 411 Broadway Spirits & Ales. Image via Facebook.
Written by Gabriel Dillard
Downtown Fresno’s Fulton Street will soon have another food option its owners hope will make you throw your arms into a dab or two.
Originally started as a food truck in June 2018, Dab Tacos will soon bring its tacos and loaded fries to a brick-and-mortar space in one of downtown’s fastest-growing districts.
Husband-and-wife duo Nik and Janet Velasquez plan to open Dab Tacos at 721 Fulton St. — in the heart of the Brewery District — by this June, to coincide with the second anniversary of the start of their food truck.
It will be a homecoming of sorts for Dab Tacos, which really got its start as one of the featured food trucks at the nearby Tioga-Sequoia beer garden, Nik said.
When the truck first started, they parked at a warehouse at Broadway and Ventura streets, but the lack of traffic was disheartening. Nik went to Tioga Sequoia to ask about parking the truck there. Another food truck that was supposed to be there didn’t show up, and Dab Tacos was booked that very day.
“Our business was grown in the Brewery District,” Nik said.
Though this will be their first restaurant, Nik and Janet both have ties to the restaurant and food service industries. Nik worked for Frito Lay for 10 years as a merchandiser. Janet is a nurse at Community Regional Medical Center, but her parents Jose and Esmeralda Lorenzo own J&E Restaurant Supply, which has been supplying local restaurateurs with equipment and supplies since 1986.
Nik, who attended the Institute of Technology culinary school in Clovis, said Dab Tacos will expand on its food truck menu at the restaurant, adding new proteins including tri-tip and brisket to the tried-and-true asada, chicken, al pastor and pork belly.
While Dab Tacos of course serves tacos, quesadillas and other traditional Mexican fare, Nik said it is best known for its loaded fries. After about three months of operating the food truck, they noticed they were selling more fries than anything else.
“We want to maximize on our loaded fries,” he said.
Dab Tacos will be located between the Modernist, a craft cocktail bar that opened last month, and the tasting room for brewer 411 Broadway Spirits and Ales. Nik knows the team behind 411, and plans call for cutting an eight-foot section into their shared wall so patrons can wash their loaded fries down with a locally made spirit or brew.
Despite moving into the world of bricks and mortar, the Velasquezes don’t plan to sell their food truck, and will likely still take it to special food truck events around town, or as a backstop for the restaurant on busy days.
Nik said Dab Tacos is a family-run operation, with four to five people working at the restaurant to start. It will be open for daily lunch and dinner hours, and even more on the weekends.
With even more development planned for the Brewery District, the Velasquezes are confident their new home will bring a return on their investment.
“We had the vision, seen the growth and seen the potential of what that area could be,” Nik said. “We are investing a lot of money into that building. If we weren’t confident, we wouldn’t.”