Bravas commits to open 2 eateries in The Landing

January 25th, 2017


A popular – and local – occupant has been secured for the to-be-redeveloped The Landing – Bravas Burgers.

Bravas owner Bo Gonzalez told NewsChannel 15 on Wednesday he will put a burger joint and a taco shop in side-by-side spaces on the block of Columbia Street, should the on-track rehabilitation happen as planned. One restaurant would focus on burgers and the other would focus on tacos.

“We’re going to have a bigger space,” Gonzalez said about the planned burger joint. “The plan is to work with a lot of local artists for the design on the inside, so I hope it’s just going to look like you’re in downtown Barcelona.”

The president of the Cincinnati-based developer of the renovation of The Landing first told City Council Tuesday night that Bravas committed to opening a burger joint on The Landing. After the discussion, the council voted 7-2 to approve a $2.5 million loan from the Legacy Fund to help redevelop The Landing.

Launched in 2011 as a hot dog cart, Bravas revved up as a popular food truck in 2012.

“We started out with a hot dog cart in 2011 and that’s were I would sell late night, Friday and Saturday nights, on the Landing,” Gonzalez said.

In 2015, then, it switched lanes and opened a burgers-only shop at 3412 Fairfield Avenue where it delivers unique, gourmet hand-crafted burgers. Bravas announced in 2016 plans to start a taco truck, as well.

“The goal is to build up those systems and those recipes and then move it into a brick and mortar here in two years, so we’ll have side-by-side restaurants,” Gonzalez said.

It’s not clear if Bravas would leave its flagship Fairfield Avenue burger shop to move into The Landing. Gonzalez said the decision will be made after the new locations open.

In any case, a brick-and-mortar return of Bravas to The Landing, where the enterprise served hot dogs from its cart in its infancy, would lend a hip and local flair to the feel of the new-look block. The city, and The Model Group as project developer, has planned to reinvent The Landing as a potential art district with a mix of housing, businesses, and entertainment.

“It sets the bar for excellence,” Model Group CEO Steve Smith said. “These are the types of restaurants we want, but it also sets the vibe. We want a place that is welcoming to all people, but certainly targeting millennials and young professionals.”

The total cost of the redeveloping the area is projected to be $35.7 million. The project has been green lighted by the city of Fort Wayne’s Legacy Fund board and City Council. Next, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation must consider the project.

Developers hope to see construction on the redevelopment begin in early summer 2017. Greater Fort Wayne Inc’s Director of Downtown Development Kirk Moriarty said the project would take 18 months to two years to complete.