Mexican restaurant to open in downtown Ironton

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 26, 2003

A new eatery will soon be a part of the Ironton landscape.

Two southern Ohio businessmen who own restaurants in Scioto, Ross and Jackson counties plan to open a Mexican restaurant in the old Crawford building at Third Street and Park Avenue.

Hoss Cat clothing store for large men will likely become its new neighbor, occupying the building that now houses The Grandview Outlet clothing store.

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Ricardo Ramos of Chillicothe and Jose Garcia of Jackson plan to open "Toro Loco" by Jan. 1. Garcia, Ramos and Donnie Townsend, who owns Hoss Cat, plan to close the deal to buy the building this week. A crew is already busy cleaning the three-story structure.

"It's going to be a family restaurant, so everyone can come, bring the children, come after church and have good food," Garcia said. The restaurant will not serve alcohol.

"We want to have the best food for the best people," Ramos agreed.

"Toro Loco" will occupy the first floor of the building. However, Townsend said he wants to see the building completely renovated within 18 months, with the second floor possibly used as living quarters, and a large room on the third floor used as a meeting room or banquet hall.

This building has tremendous opportunity for growth," Townsend said.

A one-story addition on the back of the building will be torn down for parking space, Townsend said.

Townsend said he met Garcia and Ramos last year when he ate in one of their restaurants and has tried since then to get them to open a place in Ironton.

Ramos and Garcia already own "Toro Loco" restaurants in Wheelersburg, Portsmouth and Jackson, and two restaurants called "Los Mireaches" in Chillicothe.

Townsend said he is impressed by the fact that Ramos and Garcia insist on using fresh food acquired locally, which will in turn help other local businesses. He said the trio also plan to purchase materials from local vendors as often as possible to renovate the building.

Meanwhile, Townsend said he also plans to relocate his clothing store next door in the Gabler Building. He hopes to complete that move early next year.