Editor's note: This story is part of Southwest Michigan Second Wave’s On the Ground Edison series.
Look for Frida’s authentic Mexican restaurant to use the space that previously housed Jersey Giant Subs at 1319 Portage St. in the Edison Neighborhood of Kalamazoo.
Efforts are underway to renovate the 1,200 square feet of space that had been home to Jersey Giant Subs since 2014.
The business will be owned by Thierry Hazes, Aurora Gurdillo, Hilda De La Rosa and Fernando Aguirre. Hazes and Gurdillo are husband and wife, as are Aguirre and De La Rose.
The restaurant is being named in honor of Frida Kahlo, a surrealist Mexican painter who was known for her self-portraits and unique life. She was married to fellow Mexican artist Diego Rivera, Kaho was the subject of the 2002 film Frida, with actress Selma Hayek playing the title role.
Aguirre said that name was chosen because Kahlo was passionate and intense and “was unapologetically and authentically Mexican.” He said the new restaurant’s food will be authentic and made by people who are passionate about food.
There was no immediate word on when the restaurant will open.
“We’re so excited to have another Mexican restaurant come into the neighborhood,” says Tammy Tayler, executive director of the Edison Neighborhood Association.
“It’s representative of the neighborhood and its local flavor,” says Stephen Dupuie, a member of the Edison Neighborhood board of directors and creative director of The Dormouse Theatre Troupe. Edison is Kalamazoo’s largest neighborhood and lays claim to having the city’s largest Hispanic population, 17 percent.
Dupie went on to speak of Los Brothers restaurant at 2015 Portage St., saying, “The best tacos are in the Edison Neighborhood, hands-down.”
With fare offered by the new business, he says, “The more the merrier.”