Ryan Manning, who opened his MX Taco restaurant in Orlando’s Milk District in early 2019 and then a second one in Waterford Lakes last September, has sold the East Orlando location to Rob Bair, who will convert it to one of his Tin & Taco restaurants.
“Tin & Taco is a much better match for Waterford Lakes,” Manning said by phone Wednesday morning. It will be the fourth T&T since the first opened in downtown Orlando three years ago. The Waterford Lakes restaurant is expected to open June 1. It has been closed since May 6.
Manning, in the meantime, is partnering with Pom Moongauklang to open Local Snow Shaved Ice and Ice Cream, which will operate out of a walk-up window next to the Milk District MX Taco. That space is part of the commissary for Moongauklang’s Pom Pom’s Teahouse & Sandwicheria. The two are also aiming at an early June opening.
Manning said the style of the shaved ice will be less Hawaiian, which features fruit on the bottom of the cup, and more New Orleans, which focuses on syrups.
And the flavors will have Thai, Southern and Latin American influences. In addition, he said, customers can build their own shaved ice cups from among 30 flavorings on hand. Dole Whips will be sold as well.
Manning said he had decided to sell the Waterford MX Taco in January or February, before the coronavirus outbreak. Waterford Lakes just didn’t seem like a good fit for the area, he said.
He’ll also be changing things up at the Milk District location and adding dishes that utilize his background as a former Ritz Carlton chef. “I’ll do specials where we can showcase the regional specialties of Mexico,” he said. “I’m shifting from scaling the business to being the best taco restaurant in the area.”