Pinky’s Grilled Cheestro has found its permanent home in Garden City, with plans to open the location later this year.
After many months of searching, the popular food truck will open a brick-and-mortar location in Garden City Plaza in the space formerly filled by Mooyah Burgers, said owner Candice Rodriguez. After some structural and cosmetic updates, she said, she expects the restaurant to open to the public in about three months.
Rodriguez and her husband, Jose, have operated the food truck that became Pinky’s since 2010, introducing it to Garden City more recently. Taking the business out of the truck has long been a goal, they said, mostly because of local success. If they couldn’t find a permanent location, they were open to more food trucks or larger ones, Jose Rodriguez said.
“We kind of have outgrown it. It’s just too hard to try to serve so many people out of Pinky’s. We can’t keep enough food in (the truck). When we open we can’t keep up with the demand,” Candice Rodriguez said.
The couple, working with the Finney County Economic Development Corp., originally looked for space downtown but were not able to find a suitable location within their budget, Rodriguez said. The Garden City Plaza location has an open kitchen and exposed ductwork, two things the couple wanted, she said. The couple plans to design the inside with a graffiti style similar to their truck.
“For me, personally, God had a bigger plan for us, a better plan for us. Because when we walked in the Mooyah building ... it looked like what we always envisioned when we thought about what we wanted,” Rodriguez said.
Once the Garden City Plaza location opens, the restaurant will still use the Pinky’s truck for catering and potentially for local events, Rodriguez said, though that will depend on staffing. The business will likely hire two additional staff members for the restaurant and will post more information on Facebook in the future.
At the new location, the food truck’s rotating menu, along with some new items, will feed into a permanent menu with frequent new specials, Rodriguez said.
“We offer something a little bit different — a little bit out of the norm,” Jose Rodriguez said. “Part of the reason her menu evolves is because one of the things about Garden City is there are a lot of different types of people, whether it’s ethnicity, age group, different cultures. Part of the reason for having so many different types of flavors is so that we can have something for everybody. The idea behind Pinky’s is to be a ... gathering place for different types of people.”
To new business owners following a similar path, the Rodriguezes suggested patience and working with the FCEDC. Jose Rodriguez pointed to flexibility and willingness to change plans.
“Be patient, work hard and don’t give up,” he said.
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