New eatery to open in FD

A new restaurant is coming to the Fifth Avenue South corridor.

Pancheros Mexican Grill is set to open in October, said co-owner Jim Bird.

The restaurant will be housed in a newly constructed building immediately south of Carpet World/Flooring America, 3026 Fifth Ave. S.

Pancheros is a casual Mexican restaurant specializing in burritos, tacos and quesadillas. The first restaurant opened in Iowa City near the University of Iowa campus in 1992. The chain has since expanded to 60 franchise stores.

The Iowa City connection was a contributing factor in the decision to bring Pancheros to Fort Dodge, according to Bird.

“There is a lot of Iowa City population in Fort Dodge, people who know and enjoy Pancheros,” said Bird. “We’ve gotten a lot of good comments.”

Bird will co-own the franchise with Joe Cain. The two already own several restaurants, including Sports Page Bar & Grill, Olde Boston’s Restaurant & Pub and Mineral City Mill & Grill.

Pancheros will mark the duo’s first attempt at owning a franchise fast food-style restaurant, Bird said.

Construction on the 4,500-square-foot building is slated to begin Monday, according to Bird.

However, Pancheros will only occupy about 60 percent of the space, he said.

Bird said he and Cain are presently in discussions with another national restaurant chain to open a franchise that will lease the remaining space.

Arrangements with the franchisee, who Bird declined to identify, are being finalized, he said.