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San Fernando
Saturday, Feb 4, 2023

Gorditos in Prime Site

By ANDREW FOERCH Staff Reporter Gorditos, a new player in the fast-casual Mexican dining space, has opened a restaurant in Granada Hills. The health-conscious, assembly-line style chain celebrated the grand opening of its flagship location at 17947 Chatsworth St. in the Granada Village shopping center late last month. Founder Gloria Govan, a Bay-area native turned Valley resident, said Gorditos offers an innovative, keto-friendly menu of burritos, quesadillas, nachos and bowls based on traditional Mexican recipes. Ingredients are locally sourced and cooked fresh each morning. “The reality is keto, low-carb and gluten-free have been around for a while now in terms of not being a trend and sticking around (as a) permanent healthy life choice,” Govan said. “We think we’re filling a void.” Govan described Gorditos’ grand opening – held February 28-29 – as a two-day spectacular drawing crowds of about 150 to 200 each day, including radio personalities, representatives from state government, the Valley Economic Alliance and retired L.A. Lakers point guard Derek Fisher — to whom Govan is engaged. However, the COVID-19 outbreak and the resulting regulations mandated by L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti effectively cut the celebration short. Since March 16, all restaurants in the city have been prohibited from serving dine-in customers, a method of preventing people from gathering in close proximity and thus from transmitting the coronavirus. Gorditos and other restaurants have still been able to serve take-out and delivery customers. Nonetheless, “it’s been tough,” Govan said. “Businesswise, we’re looking at losing quite a bit of money and sales. It’s just not a good situation for any small business owner. We’ve been pushing our online services like delivery through Grubhub, Doordash and Postmates. … We’ve also implemented an in-house delivery system as well that’s a $3 flat fee for a minimum order of $15.” Starting a franchise is a natural progression of Govan’s lifelong career in the food service industry. Her parents owned restaurants and jazz clubs where she began waiting tables at 12, bartending at 17 and managing by 22. At 29, she opened Rio Lounge and Grille, a Brazilian steakhouse in Canoga Park, which she managed for a year and a half before selling. “That was much, much more work,” she said of the experience. “I’m not saying I’m not interested in doing something like that again, but I think franchises are what work best for me.” Locally, Gorditos has partnered with Mr. Tortilla, a family-owned tortilla manufacturer in San Fernando, as the chain’s exclusive tortilla supplier.

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