By Kevin Collison
The former City Center Square’s loss is a tasty gain to the Ninth and Baltimore food scene with the opening of Wrap IT Up Tex Mex Grill at 104 W. Ninth St.
Veronica Garcia and her husband Roberto Vidal had to relocate when the food court at City Center was closed as part of a renovation of City Center, now called lightwell, by its new owner SomeraRoad.
They’ve found a new space three blocks away for their Tex-Mex grill in a historic building owned by Denver developer Craig Slawson. Now the couple are back to preparing fresh breakfast and lunch offerings including burritos, tacos, fajitas and salads.
The couple came to Kansas City 20 years ago from Guadalajara, Mexico. He worked for the El Conejo bus line and she had a job with what was then Time Warner. But they always longed to start their own business.
When their last child left home in 2011, they decided it was time to take the risk. They purchased Wrap IT Up which was then operating in the City Center food court.
“It used to be more Tex than Mex and I started incorporating three generations of recipes from my grandmother and from his mom and mine,” Garcia said.
They pride themselves on using the freshest and healthiest ingredients in their food.
“The reason we’re unique and people love this place is we use organic foods as much as possible,” she said. “Everything is fresh. My husband chops the produce every day.
“Our philosophy is to give our customers food the way we want to eat. We have our own signature salsas and marinades. Nothing is fried, it’s all steamed and oven done.”
And it’s worked.
Since opening last week, not only have their former customers from the food court found their way to Ninth Street, but residents of nearby buildings as well.
“It’s good for us to have competition,” she said.
The hours are 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.
in addition to Wrap IT Up, Slawson and his firm, Epoch Developments, also has added two other tenants to the buildings he owns around Ninth and Baltimore.
DeVyne Spa is offering body, facial and waxing treatments as well as manicures and pedicures at another space at 104 W. Ninth St.
In addition, Caro, a spa featuring photo-ready facials, makeup artistry, eyelash extensions and beauty care produces has opened in space in the former Kansas City Club building at 918 Baltimore.
“Customers have been asking for additional food and service offerings since we began curating for the district,” Slawson said in a statement.
“We are excited to bring a locally owned merchant offering fresh and ‘green’ food and two local spa services to meet the need.”
Don’t miss any downtown news, sign up for our weekly CityScene KC email review here.