Seabrook gains two Mexican restaurants

Outside diners can look out over the marina. Arriaba Cantina Cocina, a Mexican-themed restaurant, is now open at Bohicket Marina on Johns Island. Wade Spees/Staff Tuesday, May 12, 2015

“Obviously, people want Mexican,” says Paul Farrell, co-owner of the forthcoming Nacha Mama’s Taqueria at Bohicket Marina. “They missed it while it was gone.”

Seabrook residents have done without fish tacos and quesadillas since last fall, when the five-month-old Arriba Cantina Cocina closed. By the end of the month, they’ll have two Mexican restaurants from which to choose. In addition to Nacha Mama, which is taking over the Arriba space, San Luca’s Mexican Grill recently opened in the former Heritage and Veggie Bin.

Farrell (A Snappy Event, The Loophole) is confident that Arriba’s failure doesn’t reflect a local lack of interest in Mexican cuisine. First-time restaurateurs David and Elizabeth Woodworth struggled from the start, delaying their opening by two weeks after “a soft opening did not go well,” according to community blog Tidelines. When Deidre Schipani three months later reviewed the restaurant for The Post and Courier, she had praise only for the chips and salsa.

“I don’t know if it was mismanaged or what,” says Farrell, who with Dewey Delovich outbid Nancy Keeney of San Luca’s for the venue.

The menu at Nacha Mama will feature ceviche, rice bowls and “street tacos,” variously filled with coconut lime mahi mahi; sweet potatoes and quinoa; Korean barbecue-style pork and shrimp. Farrell is equally excited about the tequila selection; he anticipates stocking 30 different brands.

“It’s going to be a fun place,” Farrell says. “There’s a need for restaurants on the water and we’re up for that challenge.”

San Luca’s doesn’t have an online presence, nor has it publicized its phone number, but Keeney last month told Tidelines that she planned to serve tacos and fajitas. “Nancy favors using fresh, local food,” the blog reported. “She says most Mexican restaurants buy frozen food, which is supposed to be more economical, but rarely displays much taste.”

Nacha Mama’s is aiming to open the week of April 20. To learn more, visit