Wood, steel, and leather. Textures and tones of a taqueria.

Taqueria was a new concept to many who call the East Coast home. For two brothers who grew up eating their way through taquerias in California, it was a big disappointment to find the eateries didn’t exist on the opposite coast. Oliver and Leo came to NYC with their third partner, Tyler, in-tow bringing the taqueria experience to the east. Serving customers, hand-rolling burritos, deconstructing and perfecting recipes; the three did it all. From their work, Dos Toros was born.

Settlers’ Plank Reclaimed Mixed Hardwoods found new life as wall and ceiling paneling in Dos Toros in NYC.

 

A decade after the first Dos Toros opened, new locations continue to develop and are finding lighter and cleaner toned Modern Farmhouse wood has its own appeal.

What these friends started ten years ago has bloomed into 21 Dos Toros locations throughout NYC and Chicago. We chatted with Tyler about the balance of senses in their restaurants and how wood fits into the picture.

Pictured here are the three Dos Toros founders, Tyler, Leo, and Oliver.

 

If you haven’t been, we highly suggest it. As AJ demonstrates, no matter the location you’re going to find a delicious burrito and engaging servers.

Wood, steel, leather, and red were key elements in the first Dos Toros locations. Here Settlers’ Plank Hardwoods serve as paneling, benches, and cabinet doors.

 

“We knew how we wanted guests to feel when they walked in the doors. The experience should be memorable, satisfying the senses for flavor, sound, look, and feel. At first we incorporated traditional red walls and leather along with wood into Dos Toros. Over time we’ve evolved, gained a better understanding that lighter textures and colors and curves can allow us to create a better respite from the dense urban areas where we’re bombarded with harsh exteriors and hard lines,” Tyler explained.

Many of the Dos Toros locations feature our Settlers’ Plank mixed hardwoods, a grade that celebrates original patina, saw marks, some nail holes and other signs of the wood’s previous life. It was the texture and very natural feel that appealed to Tyler and team. “Wood is such a natural element. It’s durable and beautiful. We found it worked well along vertical surfaces even as we added in curving walls to our spaces.”

Maintaining inherent character and texture, a bit of whitewash was incorporated on our Settlers’ Plank, brightening and softening the tones of the mixed hardwoods.

 

The latest installation showcases a brighter, lighter, and smoother look and feel with our Modern Farmhouse Clean Hickory. Custom finished to match tables and benches within Dos Toros, Tyler said, “Hickory hits that sweet spot of durability and workability. If we need to make adjustments on site, it was easy enough to do. The smoother texture and lighter tone helps to brighten the somewhat recessed and darker urban spaces.”

Custom finished Modern Farmhouse Clean Hickory maintains the biophilic appeal of Dos Toros spaces with a lighter, modern palette.

 

Biophilia, connecting with natural elements in our surroundings, comes into play, says Tyler. “I’ve always been passionate about reclaimed wood and we’re all about sustainability at Dos Toros from materials to our food. We want to build locations that last. Wood allows longevity in furniture and wall applications, but it’s also something people enjoy interacting with. It is more relaxing and welcoming than plastic or metals. There is a natural sense to it; it feels like it should be in the space.”

What’s Tyler’s favorite wood species? “I worked as the fire master on a farm in Italy for a time. I collected wood from the surrounding land, from Chestnut and Strawberry trees. That combination of wood to flame to food has stuck with me. Those trees will always be special to me. If I was going to craft something for myself? Walnut and the more durable woods with grain variation…that’d be my aesthetic.”

Strawberry tree.

Walnut cabinetry, crafted by our sister company, New Energy Works for a home in Oregon.

 

Our thanks to Tyler for taking the time to share with us. Keep an eye out for a Dos Toros in your neighborhood!

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