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Little Caesars restaurant opening adds to south end development
By Kevin Milliken, La Prensa Correspondent
Part One in a series of articles

A Little Caesars Pizza restaurant held its grand opening on Tuesday, June 26, 2018 a state-of-the-art pizza carryout that also features a drive-through window. According to Chris Amato, Heritage South Initiative president, Historic South bought the remediated former BP gas station property at 1348 Broadway, then conveyed the location to the Nachtrab family of Minnesota for their first franchise in the Toledo area.

 

Linda Ruiz, Lorenzo Flores, and
Lourdes Santiago

“They actually went to Little Caesars (headquartered) in Detroit to get an exemption so that they could do this deal,” said Amato. “It’s really neat. They didn’t have this territory. There are two or three other franchisees that have the Toledo market and nobody wanted to make that kind of investment other than the Nachtrabs.”

The family already owns 25 Little Caesars franchises in the Minneapolis area. Amato believes the new pizza shop is the largest investment in the neighborhood in more than 30 years. The store will create up to 60 full-time and part-time jobs.

It was really one of the biggest drivers in deciding to do this. We've done a lot of different things, we were born and raised in the Toledo area, and this area needs it, they need momentum they need some energy and we’re super excited to bring some jobs,” said store owner Luke Nachtrab.

Art murals became part of the fabric of the store’s design, a colorful display that fits well into a neighborhood of welcoming murals. The Sofia Quintero Art and Cultural Center (SQACC) staff was tasked with designing the mural. The center’s art director Lorenzo Flores worked early mornings and late nights to finish the mural in time for the stand-alone store’s grand opening. He was joined on occasion by community members and SQACC staff, including Lourdes Santiago and Linda Ruiz.

The demographics of the neighborhood proved attractive to the Nachtrab family—a situation where many people don’t own cars, so they would have to get a pizza within walking distance. Amato also believes the former Toledoans “saw a resurgence” in the Old South End “and wanted to be a part of that.”

The successful grand opening has Historic South looking to do more deals as a property middleman to foster further development along the Broadway Corridor.

“We’re seeing some other properties down there—one in particular—that we’d like to purchase so that we could repurpose it. There are a lot of vacant buildings right there along Broadway now,” said Amato, who hopes the Little Caesars and recent new home of the Nueva Esperanza Community Credit Union in the former Carnegie-era South Branch library building can serve as catalysts for more investment.

 

 
Copyright © 1989 to 2018 by [LaPrensa Publications Inc.]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 07/10/18 20:11:11 -0700.

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