New taco shop coming to site of former pizza restaurant in Middletown

Hector's Taco Shop is set to open next month in the former space occupied by Don's Pizza, 1126 Central Ave. The restaurant is owned by Hector Gonzalez. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
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Hector's Taco Shop is set to open next month in the former space occupied by Don's Pizza, 1126 Central Ave. The restaurant is owned by Hector Gonzalez. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Owner wants to be part of revitalizing area, as he moves into site of two former pizza restaurants.

Hector Gonzalez believes he can succeed where two pizza restaurants failed.

The 47-year-old Beavercreek resident has leased the space formerly occupied by pizza restaurants and he plans to open Hector’s Taco Shop by the middle of September. The restaurant will open at 1126 Central Ave. in Middletown, where Blast Pizza and later Don’s Pizza operated until it closed in May due to an employee shortage.

Gonzalez owns and operates Hector’s Taco Shop near Wright State University in Fairborn. After talking to his friend Ron Decker, a Middletown architect, and Scott Lewis, whose family owns several downtown buildings, Gonzalez was convinced to open his second location.

He has spent several days in the city and wants to be part of revitalizing the area, he said.

“People have said they want to get it back to where it used to be,” he said of downtown. “I want to bring it back.”

Gonzales also likes the options the 8,000-square-foot building offers. He plans to use the drive-thru and serve food in the large dining room. He has applied for a liquor license, but doesn’t believe it will be approved before the grand opening next month.

He’s unsure how to use the lower level of the restaurant.

“It has so many possibilities that we really like,” he said. “We will take it one step at a time.”

The taco shop serves what Gonzales called “faster service Mexican food using only fresh ingredients.”

Lewis said he’s excited because Hector’s Taco Shop is the first Mexican restaurant in downtown and adds to the diversity of the food options.

“This is a homerun for downtown,” Lewis said. “Everybody loves tacos.”

A native of California, Gonzalez opened Mexican restaurants in Arizona before moving his family — wife Nora and two daughters, Linda and Noraly — to Ohio.

His family works in the restaurant.

“I feel stronger with my kids,” he said.

Besides traditional Mexican fare like tacos, burritos, enchiladas, tostadas and fajitas, Gonzalez said he will serve Mexican pizza.

There’s a good reason this taco restaurant may sound familiar. In February, Victor’s Taco Shop opened in the IGA Express shopping plaza off Ohio 63 in Monroe. Gonzales said he helped establish that location and he’s part-owner.

Victor’s is managed by Luis Gaytan. Monroe is the franchise’s eighth Ohio location and first in Butler County.

HOW TO GO

NAME: Hector’s Taco Shop

PLANNED OPENING: Mid-September

ADDRESS: 1126 Central Ave., Middletown

PHONE: No service yet

HOURS: Monday through Friday: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday: 8 a.m. to midnight; Sunday: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

We’re always looking to write about local businesses. If you have a restaurant or food story idea, contact Journal-News reporter Rick McCrabb at 513-581-7612 or rick.mccrabb@coxinc.com.