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Pancheros Mexican Grill plans to expand into Milwaukee

Fast-casual restaurant chain Pancheros Mexican Grill is looking at Milwaukee as it plans to expand its Wisconsin footprint.

The company, which got its start in Iowa City, Iowa in 1992, has more than 70 locations throughout the nation, including two in Madison and one in Fitchburg. Now, the company says, it’s ready to bring its fresh-pressed tortillas to southeast Wisconsin.

Gary Matusiak, vice president of franchise development for Pancheros, said the move is driven by the restaurant chain’s “great success” in Madison.

“We’re looking to continue to roll out great burritos in the rest of the state,” he said.

The Pancheros menu includes burritos, burrito bowls, salad, tacos and quesadillas. Customers can choose a protein, such as steak, pork carnitas, chicken or tofu. They can also add rice, beans, vegetables, salsa, queso, guacamole and other toppings, the menu says.

Matusiak said staff blend customers’ creations with the “Bob the Tool” spatula so that all of the flavors are mixed into each bite.

Pancheros is seeking a location for its first Milwaukee-area shop. Although he could not say immediately how many stores Pancheros wants to open locally, Matusiak said it would be more than one in order to develop name recognition and build the Pancheros brand.

He said Pancheros has not identified a timeline for when it wants to open the first shop.

“That sets expectations to settle,” he said. “We’re looking for the right location.”

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