Ay Caramba! Morton’s empty space to be filled with Mexican restaurant

Morton's is gone — meaning you won't find a steak like this in Brooklyn anymore.
The Brooklyn Paper / Julie Rosenberg

There’s no need to run for the border anymore.

Brooklyn appears to be erupting with Mexican food restaurants. Rocco’s Tacos and Tequila Bar, and potentially Chipotle Mexican Grill, will be opening new outposts Downtown.

Rocco’s Tacos has signed a 15-year lease for the ground floor at 339 Adams St., according to the restaurant. It’s taking over the space near Fulton Street where Morton’s Steakhouse — which closed in February 2012 — once resided.

This will be the first New York location for the Florida-based chain. The new restaurant is expected to open by winter 2014.

On top of that, One Metrotech Center — la casa of Brooklyn Paper — is likely to get a Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurant, according to sources in the know who say the burrito bar will move in next store to the Au Bon Pain at the corner of Lawence Street. That space was previously the home to a Chinese restaurant know to many Metrotechers as the “worst-case scenario.”

The first Rocco’s Tacos was founded in West Palm Beach, Fla., in 2007. But New York native Rocco Mangel has long wanted to open a restaurant in the city. It’s in his blood, he says, his grandfather was the general manager of Copacabana.

“I’m beyond excited to introduce the Rocco’s Tacos brand to the New York market,” Mangel said. “Growing up in Long Island, I always hoped to open a restaurant in my home state. Brooklyn is a thriving borough that I love and I’m confident that we will be a great addition to the vibe and dining culture.”

The Chipotle will be the third new restaurant to open in Metrotech in the past two years, joining both Five Guys Burgers and Fries and Cafe La Defense, which also has a bar.

Reach reporter Jaime Lutz at jlutz@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-8310. Follow her on Twitter @jaime_lutz.

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