A new taco and burrito spot is being planned for the Greater Huntington area next spring.
Shrimpy’s, a So-Cal-inspired burrito bar, is coming to 650 Fort Salonga Road in Northport, a former Dunkin’ location. The goal is to open by March, said Ryan DiPaola, who started the instantly popular Tex-Mex brand with a longtime friend, John Nasta.
The fast-casual eateries are known for their beach-y atmosphere and coastal bites like the Strong Island surf and turf burrito, and the flat, star-shaped crunchy-wrap. Northport will mark DiPaola and Nasta’s fourth location in just over five years.
The partners never imagined when they embarked on their maiden Tex-Mex voyage in Massapequa Park in 2018 that they would soon command a fleet of successful burrito bars scattered throughout Suffolk County as well.
They operate locations in DiPaola’s hometown of Huntington — where he also owns The Ivy Kitchen and Bar alongside other friends — and Nasta’s hometown of East Islip, which opened earlier this year.
“We actually didn’t think we would open up more than one; we had no clue,” DiPaola said. “We were young entrepreneurs in our late 20s. We believed in ourselves and our product, but we thought Massapequa was it. Then Long Island really grabbed hold of us, and we thought lets strike while the iron is hot.
Anyone who’s chowed down at one of the island’s other Shrimpy’s locations can expect to order up their staples in Northport, as well as the companywide and ever-changing burrito of the month.
Among the fan-favorite burritos are the shrimp po’ boy, the north “pork,” and the Shrimpy burrito with the restaurant’s house-made signature sauce, which is a sweet and spicy chipotle aioli.
As for their tacos, among other options, diners can sink their teeth into the namesake Shrimpy taco, which is highlighted by a soft shell, a layer of cheese and a hard shell — all stuffed with shrimp, mango pineapple salsa, guacamole and Shrimpy sauce. Then there’s the honey dip taco filled with fried chicken, melted Monterey jack, pico de gallo, honey mustard and a honey drizzle.
Like with their other locations, the Northport Shrimpy’s will lean into the brand’s beach-y So-Cal aesthetic, from the surfboard tables to the walls lined with wooden boards that imbue a shack on the beach feeling.
DiPaola and Nasta met during their sophomore year at East Islip High School and maintained their friendship after graduating. While they were roommates, neither best bud was content with his career track. So they sought to make their own way. As for why they decided on a Tex-Mex joint, DiPaola explained it just seemed like the obvious choice.
“It was the group decision when we wanted to get into food together,” he said. “We both like a little bit of extra spice when it comes to our food. I used to go to [California] often, that definitely directed my taste buds toward that style of food.”
While DiPaola and Nasta’s venture is still relatively young and started without a grand plan, they’ll still looking to the future — and more local locations.
“I think we want five [Shrimpy’s] on Long Island,” he said.
“We want to be around for a while before our mind goes to the next place.”