The owner of a popular local Mexican restaurant is opening a new concept on Grand Rapids West Side.

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Mercedes Lopez-Duran passing the torch to her children in terms of the day-to-day operation of El Granjero on Bridge St. in Grand Rapids.

Crain's Grand Rapids reports that Lopez-Duran is focused on a new project: Mercadito, a cafe serving authentic Mexican snacks and drinks, sandwiches, salads, desserts, and other quick lunch items, plus vegan options.

While El Granjero's menu is inspired by Mexico City and has many options featuring cactus, Mercadito's menu will differ.

One of Lopez-Duran's daughters, Gabriella Gonzalez, tells Crain's Grand Rapids,

She wants new products. At the restaurant, we have a lot of clientele that come here and know what to expect. With Mercadito, she has the opportunity to do whatever she wants.

The new business, once occupied by a T-Mobile store, is located at 1202 W. Fulton St., with goal of attracting visitors to John Ball Zoo.

Once open, Mercadito will be operated by co-owners Hector Salazar and Martha Arias-Salazar.

Gonzalez says,

We want to have something that Grand Rapids hasn’t seen before, and we just want to have fun doing it.

Currently, the building is under renovation, and state inspections are under way. The hope is to open Mercadito later this summer.

Follow Mercadito on Facebook for updates!

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