A taco truck with roots on Allison Hill is driving into a new venture.
Masa Authentic Mexican Cuisine owner Enrique Armas is opening a restaurant in early June at 316 N. Second St. in Harrisburg.
“It has always been the plan. It’s always what I wanted,” Armas said. “That was always our dream to have a restaurant. It’s time for something more official.”
His grandfather, Eloy Saenz, a native of Mexico, opened the truck more than 20 years under the name Mexico Lindo Taco Truck. The truck with its homemade tacos lured customers to the Allison Hill neighborhood, where the truck still permanently parks along Market Street near 15th Street.
In 2019, Armas, a Penn State University college graduate, brought a new energy and entrepreneurial spirit to the business. After earning a degree in hospitality management, Armas rebranded the truck and renamed it Masa Authentic Mexican Cuisine.
“There’s definitely a nostalgic aspect to this location. This has been kind of our home base. We spent hundreds, if not thousands of hours here. It’s going to be missed,” he said.
Armas said the truck is owned by his mother, Elodia Saenz, and aunt Anna Saenz, and will likely be sold. His family is in the process of transforming the former Dania’s Kitchen, which closed a few weeks ago, with new paint, kitchen equipment and flooring.
The space will allow Masa to remain open year-round instead of shutting down during the winter and occasionally in the summer during heat spells. After looking at properties on the West Shore and near Linglestown, Armas said they decided to stay close to their core market in the city.
The restaurant will serve the same Masa favorites as the truck including tacos, tortas, quesadillas, bowls and burritos along with a new addition – homemade nacho chips with salsa.
Masa’s restaurant will operate 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday-Saturday and 11:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday.