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Jose's Tacos to open second location in Eastern Market

The family's second generation will oversee the new, larger location, which is set to open this summer in one of Sanford Nelson's buildings

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News
A plate of tacos with beans and rice at Jose's Tacos at 218 E. Grand River in Detroit.

Jose's Tacos, a colorful, tiny Mexican restaurant on Grand River near Broadway has plans to expand to a second, bigger location in Eastern Market.

Jose and Leticia Orozco opened Jose's Tacos about five years ago, serving breakfast and lunch in their 20-seat space. They specialize in the classics: tacos, burritos, tortas, fajitas and quesadillas, plus omelets and pancakes for breakfast. 

Now the natives of Guanajuato, Mexico are about to see their three grown children take their business to the next phase.

Siblings Luis Orozco, Diana Oroczco and Laura Orozco-Martinez, along with her husband Ricardo Martinez, will run the Eastern Market Jose's Tacos. It is scheduled to open this summer on Market street where gardening supply store the Cultivation Station was.

The building is owned by FIRM Real Estate. President Sanford Nelson has been in the news lately over disputes with another Eastern Market tenant, Russell Street Deli, but Luis Orozco doesn't seem fazed by this and says Nelson is a regular at Jose's Tacos. 

Luis Orozco at  Jose's Tacos, which is family opened about five years ago on Grand River near Broadway in Detroit.

Orozco said one night he was searching for possible buildings for the new location and the next day Nelson happened to come into Jose's Tacos.

"He ordered some fajitas, and he said they were really good." He said Nelson brought up the idea of expanding the restaurant to Orozco.

"He mentioned to us that he had a place in Eastern Market. I've always wanted to open a place there."

Orozco said all their produce and meat comes from Eastern Market anyway. 

"We're really excited, right now we're just working on the layout ... we wanted a place where families can come and in take a seat. This (current location) is more like a take-out," said Orozco. "It's going to be colorful, it's going to have the Hispanic, Mexican spirit. We're bringing some paintings from Mexico where my parents were from to put in there."

Besides having a larger dining room, the Eastern Market location will have expanded hours. The Grand River spot is only open until 7 p.m. Mon.-Sat. 

They'd like to serve alcohol at the new Jose's Tacos, but that would come at a later time. Until then, sip on a variety of imported and domestic soft drinks, or some of Laura's house-made fruit-infused water prepared fresh daily in flavors like watermelon or kiwi-strawberry.

The siblings are motivated by the proximity to breweries and other nightlife spots in the new space. They are considering a quick-service window to cater to foot traffic from nearby Eastern Market Brewing Co. and Detroit Distillery.

“It’s been an honor over the last six months to work with the Orozco family as they launch a second location and realize their dreams of expansion,” Nelson said in a statement. “Locally owned small businesses are part of Eastern Market’s DNA and having Jose’s Tacos in the mix will be a great addition to the neighborhood.”

Jose's Tacos is at 218 E. Grand River in Detroit. Call (313) 965-9992. The second location will be at 2518 Market in Detroit.

Twitter: @melodybaetens

Luis Orozco, center, with his sister Laura Orozco-Martinez and her husband Ricardo Martinez.