ROCKAWAY BEACH — The chef of Rockaway Taco is splitting off to start his own venture, but his business partner warns he won't be allowed to take the recipes with him.
Chef Andrew Field is leaving the neighborhood staple Rockaway Taco to start his own taco joint called Tacoway Beach at the Rockaway Beach Surf Club at 302 Beach 87th St. — and despite his parter David Selig's warnings, Field says he plans to continue serving up the fish tacos his followers are used to.
"We'll serve fish tacos — that's what everybody's going to want to know," Field said. "It's my take. The fish taco recipe was my recipe. I'll do a few different changes to it and sort of play with new flavors."
The transition will give Field a chance to revamp the menu, and incorporate more snacks that he's seen served on the beaches of Mexico when he lived there for five years, including grilled fish-on-a-stick.
The business move was first reported by the Rockaway Times.
On May 1, Field is opening Tacoway Beach in a spacious bar, which offers more room for seating and serves alcohol, Field said.
Rockaway Taco was initially a joint venture between Field and Selig, and now that Field is splitting, he won't be able to keep the brand name or its recipes, Selig said.
"He's not allowed to serve the Rockaway fish tacos where he's going," said Selig, who's also the landlord of the building that housed Rockaway Taco.
Selig, 50, bought the building on Beach 96th Street in 2007 and opened Rockaway Taco, which is open every summer and closed during winter, that year with Field as chef, Selig said.
Now, Selig is renting out the Rockaway Taco space to another restuarant and taking the name and business on the road this summer — with a taco truck he's planning to open.
He said it was too early to say what restaurant would takeover the Beach 96th Street location, but he plans to return to Rockaway Beach in the summer of 2016.
"[The business] needs to be reshaped and come to life as an enterprise again," Selig said.