The Korean BBQ Burrito at California Tortilla. / photo


California Tortilla has 42 locations across the Mid-Atlantic region, with plans to open 8 new units by the end of 2019 and 100 by 2023.


A pair of new restaurants is slated for a Hixson commercial center as that market continues to add more eateries.

California Tortilla, a new-to-Chattanooga restaurant chain serving burritos, bowls, street tacos, quesadillas and salads, will open this summer at the Highway 153 and Hamill Road site, said developer Clint Wolford.

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Mike's Tavern is expected to open in April 2019 in Chattanooga. / photo

Also, Mike's Tavern, a concept by the creators of Mike's Hole in the Wall downtown, is expected to open in April, Wolford said.

"It will focus more on food," he said. John McClellan and Mike Robb opened Mike's Hole in the Wall on Cherokee Boulevard about a decade ago.

The Hixson center, which opened last year at the busy intersection, already holds a First Watch restaurant, which specializes in serving breakfast, brunch and lunch. When First Watch opened there last year, the eatery was in the top three in whole country in terms of sales in the chain, Wolford said.

Within the past few weeks, two other restaurants have opened nearby across Highway 153.

Aubrey's and Panda Express each have opened next to Northgate Mall at the site of a former Sears auto center.

Wolford said there's a lot of tenant demand in Hixson.

"It's starting to come to fruition with a lot of things opening up," he said.

California Tortilla, the fast-casual Mexican-inspired restaurant franchise based in Maryland, currently operates 42 locations across the Mid-Atlantic region.

Jim Tisack, California Tortilla's vice president of franchise development, said its fresh flavors and menu items have led the company to develop a strong presence in the Mid-Atlantic.

"There are a lot of great real estate opportunities in other thriving markets, which presents a strong opportunity for us to increase our geographic footprint," he said.

The total initial investment to open a California Tortilla ranges from $412,000 to $708,000, according to the restaurant company.

In addition, the commercial center has landed a couple of new tenants.

Orangetheory Fitness, which offers group personal training workouts, will open along with nail salon Bliss Nail, Wolford said.

He said there are a couple of other unleased spaces in the location that at one time housed Vision Masters and other businesses.

The 2-acre site fronts Highway 153 and wraps around a Mapco convenience store on the corner, having an added entrance and exit onto Hamill Road.

Contact Mike Pare at or 423-757-6318. Follow him on Twitter @MikePareTFP.