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Hot Head has a new restaurant concept

Locally based Mexican restaurant chain Hot Head Burritos unveiled its new "cantina" concept on Tuesday, Aug. 7, at its restaurant near the University of Dayton.

The newly branded “Hot Head Burritos Cantina” at 1113 Brown St.  hosted a ribbon-cutting and open house from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday to show off the new look, which includes a full bar and weekly margarita and daily beer-pitcher specials. The restaurant offers eight beers on tap.

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“We look forward to showing off the Hot Head of the future to our hometown,” Ray Wiley, co-founder of Hot Head Burritos, said in a release. 

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When Wiley first confirmed the shift to a cantina concept last September, he said Hot Head, “like any brand, is evolving ... . We’re looking at modifying the concept a little bit, by bringing in margaritas and craft beer.”

>> Local Mexican restaurant chain to expand into its eighth state

Wiley, who is also a co-founder of the Kettering-based Rapid Fired Pizza chain and has operated Subway franchise restaurants in the Dayton area, said Hot Head “is not trying to become a bar,” but was responding to changing consumer tastes.

>> RELATED: Hot Head Burritos has big plans — and they involve alcohol

“Industry-wide, we’re seeing more people who are looking to have a beer with their dinner,” he told this news outlet.

 Three Hot Head locations — Brown Street, Smithville  Road in Kettering and Huber Heights — now offer craft beer and margarita options, with a fourth, in Englewood, scheduled to add those beverages to its menu in about two weeks, Hot Head officials said today.

>> RELATED: Daytonian of the Week: Ray Wiley, co-founder of Hot Head Burritos and Rapid Fired Pizza  (October 2017)

Hot Head Burritos offers burritos, bowls, tacos, nachos, quesadillas, and multiple types and flavors of salsa in a build-your-own service concept similar to Chipotle and Subway.

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Last week, Hot Head signed a franchise agreement to open a restaurant in Northampton, Mass., the 74th location in eight states.

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The rapid initial growth of the restaurant chain, which opened its first restaurant in Kettering in 2007, earned national recognition. In December 2011, the chain was named among the “Ones to Watch” by QSR Magazine, which monitors the “quick-service restaurant” category.

>> Hot Head named to national ‘Top 100 Movers & Shakers’ list for 2nd time

The chain’s headquarters are in the process of moving from West Chester Twp. back to Kettering.

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