Since the move from Margaret Street to Oak Street, the popular Mexican restaurant Cheechako Taco is gearing up for some new items and changes for its customers.

In hopes of enhancing the downtown nightlife, Cheechako Taco is introducing “Late Nights” on Friday and Saturday nights from 12:30 a.m. to 3 a.m.

Manager Nick Sprague said the point of “Late Nights” is to fill that late-night hunger craving.

Employee Amanda Knollman said, “It’s really open for the college kids who want to stop by when they’re downtown.”

To keep customers entertained while waiting for their food, the dining tables now feature board games including Monopoly, Yahtzee and Checkers.

“We want people to come and hang out and have a good time. Besides with just getting food, it’s a good place to interact,” Knollman said.

In addition to the late night hours, the restaurant is featuring new in-house products. Cheechako Taco is in the mix of bottling and selling its new homemade hot sauce, Grow-A-Pear.

The sauce is a product of a challenge given to Michael Bruley, the restaurant’s resident chef and creator of the sauce.

Bruley said he was challenged to make something that was so spicy it would linger longer.

“I pulled through my library to make what is hot seem even hotter,” he said.

The hot sauce features pears, raspberries and a range of different spices.

“The big part behind the pears in it is it adds to the texture and not so much the heat itself. The pears add a starchiness that helps it stick to the inside of your mouth,” Bruley said.

Sprague said Cheechako Taco wants to have its own hot sauce and not use something store bought. Last summer, the company started selling the item by the case.

In addition to the new hot sauce, the company has also tried to branch out with a homemade ice cream line. The company has a variety of flavors few customers are aware.

“We have an Oreo-based one, a hazelnut, Nutella-like ice cream, we also have one called Java the Hut, which is a coffee ice cream, and our latest one is our Grandma’s apple pie ice cream.” The ice cream flavors don’t stop there, as Bruley is cooking up new flavors.

“I’m working on a pumpkin pie ice cream right now. Within the next week, I’m hoping to have a candy corn ice cream out for Halloween and a few others, one including a root beer float,” Bruley said.

These are just a few of the new changes coming to Cheechako Taco.

“It’s all a work in progress,” Bruley said.

Email Cierra Patterson at cierra.patterson@cardinalpointsonline.com.

<a href="https://cardinalpointsonline.com/byline/cierra-patterson/" rel="tag">Cierra Patterson</a>