Pivoting in a Pandemic: Locales Tacos y Taqueria

Locales owner Brian McLaughlin

July 20, 2021 by Ally Donnelly

Opening a restaurant is incredibly challenging in the best of times. Now throw in a global pandemic.

Brian McLaughlin, owner of Locales Tacos y Taqueria has hit many a roadblock in his path to launch the much-anticipated taco shop in Hingham's Crowe Point.

Emily Meservey of Hingham

McLaughlin had hoped to open a year ago, in July 2020 but he had to navigate ever-evolving Covid protocols and regulations, supply chain disruptions, skyrocketing food costs and perhaps, most painful of all, finding experienced, reliable staff to cook, serve, clear, seat guests and mix drinks.

“It’s a beautiful time to be looking for a job in my opinion,” McLaughlin said “You can actually get paid what maybe you'd like to get paid. The service industry is tough. It’s a tough industry.”

Locales crunchy pork carnitas tacos

The staffing shortages will keep lunch as takeout only for the foreseeable future. Customers can order through a window off the side of the restaurant and staff will run out their orders. McLaughlin hopes they'll be ready for indoor table service toward the end of the week. They've got the staff for the night shift, but a gas line issue cropped up during their pop up last week and they're waiting for technicians to come fix it.

Bartender Brian Finnegan of Scituate

"As anybody in the restaurant industry knows, there's always a fire to be put out," McLaughlin said. "But that's part of the fun of it."

Homemade Locales chips

Join us for a behind-the-scenes tour on this week's episode of The Hingham 'Cast. Head to the kitchen to hear the sizzle of meats and peppers. Let your mouth water as McLaughlin describes Locales' fresh, but limited menu of Mexican street tacos, carnitas, carne asada and more. Learn about the custom bar and why you won't recognize most of the gorgeous bottles of tequila, mezcal and agave spirits. Meet the staff and hear customer reviews. It's Taco Tuesday!

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