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[HEARTSIDE] Grand openings for Pikositos, Pekich Park today in Heartside

Planning schematic of Rev. Barb Pekich Park

Planning schematic of Rev. Barb Pekich Park /Dwelling Place GR

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Pikosito's logo

Pikosito's logo

Artist Hugo Claudin

Artist Hugo Claudin /Jason James

It’s a big day on the Avenue for the Arts.

This afternoon marks the grand opening of Pikositos, a new restaurant focusing on Mexican cuisine, and the official park dedication of Rev. Barb Pekich Park at the corner of South Division and Cherry.

Pikositos boasts a range of “Authentic Mexican Tacos & Salsas” in its tagline and is located in the former Foodsmith location right in the heart of the Martineau Lofts at 122 S. Division. The new eatery is owned by architect Norma Jazwinski and will be operated by Manuel Medina, a key player in the Mexican Heritage Association and one of the principal organizers of Fiesta Mexicana, the Association’s annual celebration of Mexican heritage.

Pikosito’s will focus on quick and affordable Mexican food—primarily tacos, burritos and quesadillas with vegetarian options—served with homemade salsas and tortillas.

“We are excited to have a new addition to the neighborhood,” said Jenn Schaub, a Martineau resident and employee at Dwelling Place’s neighborhood revitalization department. “The restaurant will add a late night food hotspot along South Division. And I have heard that the salsa is killer!”

Samples will be available for tasting at today’s grand opening.

Part of the reason the operators chose this location, which has laid dormant since the closing of Foodsmith just over a year ago, is because of its favorable placement in Dwelling Place's  Martineau Housing Complex, which offers low-cost live/work housing for artists and entrepreneurs. Other storefront businesses in the complex include several art galleries, popular bike shop Commute GR and Imagination Creations, a unique boutique and hair salon.

Pikosito’s will regularly feature the work of area artists, starting with Martineau resident Hugo Claudin. Claudin is known for his colorful paintings of stylized figures wearing Mexican luchadora wrestling masks.

Pikosito's opens officially at 4:00pm today, and you can find more about the restaurant on Facebook.

Following the opening at Pikositos, the dedication ceremony for the pocket park at the corner of S. Division and Cherry will begin at 5 p.m. The pocket park will be dedicated in the name of Rev. Barb Pekich,a  long time administrator at Heartside Ministries and champion of the Heartside neighborhood. Rev. Pekich passed away in late 2008 and left her mark on the community.

The park became an official city park over a month ago, but the dedication will be the first celebration of the new status. Many believe the distinction will help control some of the illegal activities that have been previously reported in the park because city parks are more regulated than most public places.

Mayor Rev. George Heartwell be officiating and cutting ribbons at both openings, and an ice cream social in the park will follow its dedication.

Read about the regular lunch-in-the-park events previously reported on the Rapidian.

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I enjoy Mexican food and I enjoy this area of Grand Rapids.

Yeah, I am super excited about another option for late night tacos in the neighborhood! 

Do they have tamales?

It's a good day for S. Division St.

I dont know about Tamale's - I'll find out when i check it out later.

They will have tamales. But, only occasionally i think. they were 1.75 and delicous. But, they do not appear to have vegetarian tamales. The hunt for veggie tamales continues!

Why can noone deliver on this obvious demand?