A friendship that started nearly 30 years ago at Houlihan’s has since expanded into Right Coast Taqueria, which recently opened its doors in Mineola this July.
Dave Preisler said he and his partner Richard Zoob would stay in touch after first meeting at the restaurant chain and eventually decided to put their combined corporate experience into something they both love.
“We both came from working at full-service, corporate restaurants,” Preisler said in an interview with Blank Slate Media. “We both said we’re done with that, let’s do simple, fast casual with a handful of employees. That’s how the idea was born.”
Right Coast Taqueria first opened in Deer Park in 2018. After initial success, plans to sign a lease on a second location came to a halt with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Preisler said.
“We realized we didn’t need to serve people in a big dining room,” Preisler said.
Right Coast created its first food truck that was first stationed in Holbrook, but demand for catering private events led to the creation of a second one.
The two trucks split their time between traveling to different events and acting as an “outdoor restaurant” in Ronkonkoma, Preisler said.
The newest location at 358 East Jericho Turnpike in Mineola received an enthusiastic welcome from the community and local organizations.
“We’ve had such a warm welcome here,” Preisler said, adding they first heard of the East Jericho location about 10 months ago. “It’s really been great and has solidified that we are in the right place.”
On top of serving tacos, Right Coast offers a menu of burritos, salads, bowls and nachos, among other things.
When asked about his personal favorite from the menu, Preisler said he could eat the Mongolian beef tacos anytime someone put one in front of him, adding that they’re the No. 1 seller.
“It just stands out,” Preisler said.
Customers are offered selections from the menu itself or they can build their own, Preisler said.
Right Coast pivoted from first offering a more simplified menu after increased demand for specialty tacos, such as birria or Thai chicken tacos, to stay available long-term.
“We put together a list of weekly specials that people fell in love with,” Preisler. “We decided to make a menu comprised of them, why make people wait?”
Looking forward, Preisler said he wants to be an added member of the Mineola community and the best neighbor possible. The co-owner said he’s already reached out to local organizations and school districts to introduce himself.
“We want to make sure we are a valued citizen in our neighborhood,” Preisler said. “We want to make sure we are giving back.”