Torti Taco Will Add a New Restaurant at the Former Pastrami Joe’s Location in Battle Creek
It took a few extra months, but Torti Taco will be adding a second location on Michigan Avenue in downtown Battle Creek. Instead of the previously announced project at 56 East Michigan, they’ll be located at 80 West Michigan. Torti Taco will occupy the space recently vacated by Pastrami Joe’s, and work is expected to get started in April. Torti Taco began considering the shift after plans with a previous developer at a nearby location did not materialize.
The local Mexican eatery has been working with Battle Creek Unlimited, the City of Battle Creek, and the Downtown Development Authority on the project to open their new location.
Torti Taco was originally awarded a Real Estate Improvement Fund (REIF) grant. That grant is still available and will be utilized for the expansion to the new location. The REIF was made possible by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The program helps entrepreneurs clear obstacles they might face in investing in downtown locations. A release from Battle Creek Unlimited says an REIF grant can allow for the revitalization of vacant space, improving code compliance, resolving structural and mechanical issues, and supporting other upgrades to bring unoccupied properties back into productive use.
The current space is owned by the City of Battle Creek’s Downtown Development Authority.
Plans include a new garage-door-style entrance, outdoor seating, upgraded fixtures and finishes, an oyster bar, and a performance stage. An interior wall will be moved to expand seating capacity. The Battle Creek Historic District Commission gave their stamp of approval on plans at their March 8th meeting.
“This has been a long time in the making and definitely worth the wait,” said Javier Fortoso, owner and operator of Torti Taco. “Thanks to BCU, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and the City of Battle Creek for all their support. We can’t wait to bring a new Torti Taco experience to downtown Battle Creek.”
“This shift will get a long-anticipated project over the finish line,” said Joe Sobieralski, president and CEO of BCU. “We’re grateful for Javier’s continued patience and commitment to bring a premier Mexican restaurant to downtown Battle Creek.”
Torti Taco’s new downtown location will not replace, but will be an addition to its existing operations at 5275 Beckley Road.
“We are experiencing a tremendous amount of positive change in the central business district,” said Ted Dearing, assistant city manager for the City of Battle Creek. “Torti Taco will only add to the momentum. We think Javier and his brand will be an excellent addition to the downtown.”
Check out Torti Taco’s menu here.