Sancho Streetside taco truck set to open new Shawnee restaurant next month

Sancho's

Sancho's, a restaurant concept offshoot of Shawnee taco truck Sancho Streetside, will celebrate a grand opening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony April 21. The restaurant on Nieman Road will serve as headquarters for the taco truck and catering operations. Sancho Streetside serves up street tacos, fajitas, grilled baja chicken, carne asada and other yummy dishes. Photo courtesy Sancho Streetside.

Sancho Streetside, a local taco truck and catering company, is opening a new restaurant just south of downtown Shawnee.

Ryan Moody, owner of Sancho Streetside, said he’s thankful for all of the support leading up to opening the new restaurant. Photo credit Leah Wankum.

Located at 6505 Nieman Road, the restaurant — which will simply be called Sancho’s — is in the site of the former Garrett’s neighborhood bar and grill (Garrett’s renamed itself The Social and moved to another location in Shawnee last year).

A soft opening for Sancho’s is slated for the weekend of April 8-9.

The Shawnee Chamber of Commerce will then celebrate a ribbon-cutting and grand opening for Sancho’s on April 21.

Sancho’s had a previous restaurant location in the old Shawnee State Bank downtown, but closed that operation in October.

“I’ve always wanted to build out my own restaurant, and I got a really great chance to do this here,” said Ryan Moody, chef and owner of Sancho’s and the Sancho Streetside food truck. “This is my dream, and I’m able to see my dream happen.”

A complete gutting of old restaurant

Located at 6505 Nieman Road, the restaurant is the former home of Garrett’s, a neighborhood bar and grill. Sancho’s previously had a restaurant storefront in downtown Shawnee. Photo credit Leah Wankum.

Moody and his crew reinvented the old Garrett’s space to fit Sancho’s style, completely gutting the restaurant, he said.

However, they salvaged and relocated the original bar and also tripled the kitchen’s footprint to make room for the food truck and catering components of the business.

He credits several people for making his dream possible, including his father, Steven Moody, who bought the 1971 building from Jeff Garrett.

He also credited his girlfriend, Kellie Overocker (who operates Indigo Rose Salon just down Johnson Drive in Merriam), Eric Neagle, the food’s truck manager who is heavily involved in the restaurant buildout, Betty C’s owner Brian Anderson, who has stepped up as a resource for Moody and all of the city staff who helped with the transition.

And, of course, all of Sancho’s loyal customers.

“We’re just really thankful for all the support we’ve gotten from the city of Shawnee and our patrons and the citizens of Shawnee,” Moody said. “And I think coming in and taking a dilapidated building and rebuilding it while I have food trucks sitting on top of me the whole time just shows how much I care about this city.”

Moody said the buildout put them over budget because of the ongoing COVID-19 impacts on supply lines of building materials. But he won’t let that deter him.

“As I’ve told everybody, if I have survived a pandemic, and moving and rebuilding my building, I don’t know if there’s much else a restaurateur can really encounter more difficult than those things,” Moody said. “And I’ve made it through, and we’re about to reopen the doors.”

Family-friendly upbeat vibes

Sancho’s will have arcade games, a pool table, a 1970s jukebox and discounts for first responders, teachers and military. Photo credit Leah Wankum.

The Sancho’s restaurant is outfitted with arcade games, a pool table, 1970s jukebox and other decor for a funky, upbeat vibe.

Plus, they’ll have dollar-off shots every time customers hear sirens, and discounts for all first responders, teachers, public safety workers and military.

“We definitely want it to be a family-style environment that people can come in and have fun,” Moody said, adding that, starting next year, they may start a new annual tradition celebrating Cinco de Mayo.

More is also in store for Sancho’s, including adding a patio and garage doors to the south side of the building and eventually buying a second food truck.

Moody is also rebuilding his staff after losing some employees during the six-month buildout. The restaurant is hiring for all positions, from management and kitchen staff to bartenders and truck crew.

Tentative hours of operation are 11:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 11:30 a.m. to about 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday. Kitchens may close at 11 p.m.