By Lisa Gervais
What started as Tacos and Tunes on a Friday night has morphed into Poquito Loco making Castle Antiques its permanent home.
After the Mexican restaurant closed in the Silver Maple Motel, co-owner Claudette Pitre said Castle Antiques’ Anna Lowes and Amanda Manary approached her and asked if she and Mark Christiano would be interested in doing Friday nights. Christiano, who is with the Ya Ya Baby’s, was onboard and Taco and Tunes began Nov. 11.
“Friday nights were so much fun, people dancing and eating Mexican food, and it just kind of snowballed from there,” Pitre said.
Lowes agreed. Looking at Pitre on one of the couches in Castle Antiques, she said, “the nights were so good and you were looking for a permanent place. Friday nights weren’t enough. And we certainly didn’t want to lose them, so we figured something out that was going to work for everyone in the community,” she said.
Pitre calls it a “combination” and Lowes a “perfect collaboration.”
How it will work is the bakers will still come in early to make the treats Castle has become famous for, including its vegan and gluten-free line of products. They plan to add some savoury baking. They’ll still do soups and salads and their signature drinks. They will continue to make cookies during the day but the plan is to get out of the kitchen by 11 a.m. so Pitre and her team can get in to do their food prep for the lunch crowd.
Lowes said “Claudette is gracious enough to accommodate our other clientele as well and offer some vegan and gluten free options so everyone’s happy.”
Pitre said they have a gluten free wrap on the Mexican menu, for example.
The business was closed for five days of renovations, mostly in the kitchen.
Lowes said they essentially had to make two work areas with shared fridge, freezer and lots of ovens.
“I think it’s going to be good,” Pitre said. “Like, it feels good, the flow of it…for me anyway.” She begins working full time March 3. “It’s amazing for me. It kind of feels perfect. We have a spot in a prime location. We have each other’s customers.”
Lowes agrees, “our customers have been loyal throughout, and that’s why we’re accommodating them, but Claudette is going to really see that shift. She is going to be really busy. And she has a really loyal following as well. We’re hoping it’s the beginning of something fun at Castle.”
Tacos and Tunes goes Friday, Feb. 24 and it’s business as usual from Saturday, Feb. 25.