- Ethan Greer, owner of Taqueria El Camino in Dover, is planning to open his second restaurant, Greer’s Burger Garage, in early spring.
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Fresh off the success of Taqueria El Camino in Dover, Ethan Greer began looking for a second location that would offer more indoor seating for his two-year-old restaurant.
When he found the former Johnny’s Raceway Eatery, housed in a one-time mechanic shop on South Main Street, he thought he had found a space for his expansion.
After signing the lease, Ethan couldn’t shake the feeling that the garage was meant for something else. A new idea began to take shape: an Americana-themed burger joint that paid homage to America’s multi-cultural past.
Expanding his culinary repertoire
With one Black and one white parent, Ethan always felt like an outsider at Spring Grove Area High School.
“People just assumed I was Puerto Rican,” he says.
He wanted to get out of York County after graduation and explore other cultures, especially through the lens of flavor.
He studied culinary arts at Baltimore International College and later worked as a chef on private yachts sailing the Caribbean. Through his travels, he delved into the culinary cultures of the Caribbean and Latin America.
But after 11 years away, Ethan began to feel the pull back to York County. His dad told him that if he wanted to come back and open a restaurant here, his family would back him.
Within a month of moving back to York, Ethan had the keys to his first restaurant. Taqueria El Camino opened on January 7, 2020.
“My whole life, I just really had a lot of love for Latino culture,” he says, “but I wasn’t introduced to those flavors until I moved to Miami and got a chance to taste Brazilian, Guatemalan, and Argentinian cuisine.”
The concept was a hit in York County. On its first day, they served over 750 people. Lines wrapped around the building and supplies were cleaned out by the end of the day.
Paying homage to all cultures
As his Burger Garage nears its spring opening, Ethan’s got his theme down: the graffiti-muraled walls, sparkling red leather booths, and license plate lights pay homage to each decade from the 50s through the 2000s. He’s planning to have themed music for each night of the week – 50s on Mondays, 60s on Tuesdays, and on through the decades with designated nights for funk and pop.
While many Americana diners celebrate the 50s, “that wasn’t always a great time for non-white Americans,” Ethan says.
His Americana diner, he says, will pay homage to all Americans across cultures and decades.
But Greer’s Burger Garage is not the final step for Greer Restaurant Group, the organization under which all of his restaurants fall.
He recently purchased a food truck and envisions a future where he can share his culinary explorations around the area: Creole flavors one day, Japanese pancakes the next.
“I want a brand that people know,” Ethan says. “I want people to know that, no matter what it is, if this guy is cooking, it’s going to be good.”