Downtown Iowa City Panchero's set to reopen today


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Panchero’s fans, your “Bob’d” burritos are back.

Well, almost.

After a nearly two-month renovation and restoration hiatus, downtown Iowa City’s Panchero’s Mexican Grill, 32 S. Clinton St. — a fast-casual food staple — is set to reopen today.

The downtown location, the chain’s original, underwent an aggressive construction effort as a part of Iowa City’s building change improvement plan implemented for eight downtown and North Side Marketplace businesses, beginning May 27. It has remained closed since.

The company was founded in the Clinton Street location in January 1992.

In all, the company received a $19,857 grant from the city’s program for a $66,190 project that today has resulted in the addition of new Washington Street-facing windows, circa 1800 ceiling restoration, new exterior signs, and updated seating, among other historically accurate details.

Reid Travis, Panchero’s director of marketing communications, originally told The Daily Iowan in a July 14 interview that the downtown location would reopen between July 15-19.

Despite the delay, Panchero’s corporate office assistant, Haylee Ellrich, said customers can expect the same relative offerings synonymous with the Coralville-based chain, including its long-standing late-night hours downtown.

Although the company often kicks off new store openings with specials including $1 burrito purchases, no such deals will take place until the end of August, Travis said.

Focusing on serving up burritos, burrito bowls, quesadillas, and tacos, the company currently operates 64 restaurants across the United States in 20 states, including Nebraska, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Maryland.

Recent additions include restaurants in Altoona, Iowa, and St. Joseph, Mo., with locations in Mason City and Fort Dodge expected to come online in the coming months.

Although no further Iowa City locations are in the planning phase, the company expects to open four to five additional restaurants in 2013, with 10 more in 2014.

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