Marc LaMaina, owner of Lucharitos, the new taco and burrito bar that replaced Butta Cakes in Greenport this December, is ready to throw one of the biggest parties the village has ever seen.
LaMaina has promised to throw a taco party for the entire population of Greenport and beyond if he can garner 11,700 "likes" on the business' Facebook page by April.
"I just wanted to get more 'likes' onto my Facebook page and bring more attention to the new shop. And it's a way to give back to the local community," he said.
Should he garner his target number of likes, LaMaina plans to hold the taco party on April 20 and cook up literally thousands of tacos in a mix of varieties. LaMaina said he plans to ask Greenport Village Mayor David Nyce and the village board for permission to possibly erect a tent for the party.
LaMaina said the decision to transform Butta Cakes into Lucharitos was born after Hurricane Sandy destroyed the floor and refrigerators in the eatery.
"We had to gut the whole front and back of the house," LaMaina said. And, he added, the reality was he was looking to create a more adult atmosphere and utilize his beer and wine license. "We couldn't do that with Butta Cakes. It was more kid friendly," LaMaina said.
Of Butta Cakes, he said, "It was a labor of love," but due to the seasonal nature of the cupcake business, eight months of the year, much of the product just wasn't moving.
In addition, he added, with a son, Joseph Michael, born Nov. 7, LaMaina just felt it was time to generate a more steady influx of income. "It must made me buckle down," he said; so far, he added, the new business has been doing very well.
News of the free taco party garnered the Lucharitos Facebook page 480 new "likes" in three days, with 70 in the first few hours. "It's hard to get new 'likes' as a business. You can't really ask people to like your page. You have to give them an incentive," he said.
LaMaina, who left a five-year career in IT at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Manhattan and opened Butta’Cakes — a name he’d dreamt up while working his day job — on May 14, 2009, said running a small business has been eye-opening.
"It's the equivalent of getting a master's degree in business," he said.
Taco party hopefuls have until April 18 to "like" LaMaina's page.
And even if he doesn't reach his goal, LaMaina said he might still organize a party of some kind to thank his loyal customers.
To "like" the Lucharitos' Facebook page, click here.
Lucharitos is located at 119 Main Street in Greenport. Call 631-477-6666.