Chido’s Tacos, a popular Springfield food truck, is opening a brick-and-mortar operation in COhatch The Market in downtown Springfield.
The announcement comes days after The Painted Pepper and Cork + Board announced they were moving out of the space via their Facebook pages.
“We had seven inquiries within two days for the space,” COhatch co-owner Pat Williams said.
Armando Nunez opened Chido’s Tacos in March 2022 after building the food truck from the ground up with his uncle. He explained that after the coronavirus pandemic, he started thinking he needed to do something for himself because life is too short.
“I love food. I love cooking food. I’ve been in the restaurant industry my whole life, so I had saved up some money and I bought an empty cargo trailer down in Georgia,” Nunez said.
He explained that his father helped him get it back to Springfield and, for about a year on his days off, he worked on getting the trailer up and running.
Nunez has been working in the restaurant industry since he was 12. He explained that his family owns Los Mariachis, and he has learned every position from dishwasher to cook, all the way up to management.
“He was choked up,” Williams said when he reached out to Nunez about the space.
“The call was a dream come true because really where my experience mostly is, is in a restaurant,” Nunez said. I’ve done a year in the trailer and that has blown up, but I have 14 years of experience working in a restaurant.”
Chido’s Tacos is known for everything birria, which can be described as slow-cooked meat in a lot of spices. Nunez explained it became a trend in California about a year or two ago and eventually made its way to Ohio. He said he is planning to keep his current menu and add additional items like salads.
Nunez said he wants to have more lunch options for people to get a quick bite of fresh Mexican food. He added that he will have breakfast, lunch and dinner menus and will be open all day to start off.
“I really think that people are going to love the food and all of the different stuff I’m going to be able to offer,” Nunez said.
Nunez is a 2013 Northeastern High School graduate who now lives in Springfield.
He said his uncle taught him at a young age, “If you put in the work and you work hard, you can get whatever you want.”
That’s exactly what he has been doing and now his dreams are coming true. He said he wants to be an example for the young people in Springfield that if they put in the hard work and dedication, they too can have whatever they want.
Williams described Nunez as a “rock star.”
COhatch The Market will celebrate its third anniversary, coming up in June. The co-working and market space opened amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“COhatch is alive and well,” said Williams, who with his wife Nancy are operating partners at COhatch. “This is our baby.”
The Painted Pepper and Cork + Board were two of the original six vendors in the space.
The Painted Pepper is returning to its roots by transitioning to its food truck full-time starting June 1. Louie Ortega, who owns The Painted Pepper with his wife, Amanda, said they have a few food truck events already set up for May. Prior to opening in COhatch in June 2020, The Painted Pepper was a food truck with six years of experience in the community.
“After three years our lease is coming to an end at COhatch, and we decided to transition back to a food truck and bring food to the people,” said Louie Ortega.
The Painted Pepper offers a Southwestern style menu inspired by Louie’s El Paso, Texas roots and the couple’s experience in Arizona.
The couple started the food truck when Louie decided he wanted to have his own restaurant, after working as an executive chef at several hotels, Amanda Ortega previously explained. Opening a restaurant was a huge risk, so the food truck became their first step.
Louie said The Painted Pepper will soon serve food out of a new 23-foot freight liner food truck. Amanda Ortega explained that they are planning to offer a little more than they did on the food truck before, but a little less than the brick-and-mortar. They still plan to offer guacamole and hope to add additional sides and dips.
The Painted Pepper’s last day is Saturday, May 27. Louie said customers who love their breakfast burrito, will still be able to get it at the farmers market.
As for Cork + Board, it will continue to serve customers throughout the rest of May, including a final tasting event on Thursday, May 25, as they look for a new location. The wine bar is a way for Amanda Ortega to not only share her passion for wines, but to push wine drinkers’ experiences to the next level.
The couple explained that they are also working on a new project at Scout’s Cafe’s second location at 3650 E. National Road. Amanda Ortega said their food truck will do a few pop-ups there as they work on a new kitchen in that space. More details about this new food concept are expected later in the year. They added that they are also focusing on growing the catering side of their business under the name Chef + Somm.
“We’ll really miss the customers we see regularly throughout the week and hope that they will come see us as we’re parked around downtown,” Amanda Ortega said.
Her husband added, “We love Springfield and we’re thankful for their support.”
COhatch The Market offers businesses a low-cost opportunity to come get started, Williams said.
“There’s opportunity always for people to expand their brand,” he said. “We have a clean, nice building that people can operate in.”
Williams said North High Brewery, another original vendor, will be reworking its space — an indicator of how the market evolves.
In April, Springfield entrepreneurs Lisa and Dan Freeman, who own Le Torte Dolci Bakery, Salato Deli and Crust & Company, announced they were creating an “umbrella brand” for their businesses after they purchased Ironworks Waffle Café. Crust & Company and Ironworks Waffle Café opened nearly three years ago.
In addition to space for restaurants and bars, COhatch offers co-working space for local businesses, in addition to conference rooms and spaces for members of the public to reserve for meetings and events.
“Our rooms are booked ... all of our economic indicators are up,” Williams said. “We’re pretty proud of what we have built here.”
COhatch The Market is located at 101 S. Fountain Ave. Other tenants at COhatch include The Market Bar, Hikari Moe Sushi, Jo’s 101 Deli, All Saints Grill and The Paper Moon & Co.