Forthcoming tequila and mezcal bar Toma Detroit was named the 2018 winner of the $50,000 prize in the Comerica Hatch Detroit Contest on Thursday evening. The Latin American bar and restaurant owned by partners Tony Lopez, Corey McIntosh, Jose Maldonado, Eddie Vargas is aiming to open inside the former Casey’s Pub space in Corktown.
Toma was one of four food and beverage businesses to advance to the finals at Hatch this year. The other finalists included a small grocery startup called Neighborhood Grocery, vegan deli Paradise Natural Foods, and fast-casual slider restaurant Slyde. The owners of each business pitched their plans to a panel of local judges during short presentations at the M@dison Building in downtown Detroit and the judges in turn fired off questions about the specifics of the business plans.
During Toma’s presentation, Maldonado addressed the costs of the renovation at 1830 Michigan Ave., which were estimated at $255,000 for the buildout. The partners are also aiming to purchase the property rather than lease. They intend to add a patio to the property.
Toma will in part serve as a tasting room for products from the Tequila Cabresto brand, owned by the Lopez family (which operates Lopez Tires in Southwest Detroit). As part of the grand prize, the Toma team will also receive more than $200,000 in pro bono support including legal services, architectural design, IT and public relations services, business mentorship.
Although not every business received a $50,000 prize, many Hatch alums who make it to the top four have gone on to open brick-and-mortar storefronts. Norma G’s and Rock City Eatery were both past finalists, while past semifinalist Coop opened a stall at the Detroit Shipping Company food hall this summer. This year’s contest received nearly 200 small business plan submissions as well as more than 400,000 public votes for the top four finalists. Stay tuned for updates on Toma as the bar project moves forward.
• Tequila Bar Sets Sights on Former Casey’s Pub Space in Corktown [ED]
• Restaurants, Bars, and Grocery Stores Advance to the Finals in the Hatch Detroit Competition [ED]
• Seven Food Business Named Semifinalists in Hatch Detroit’s 2018 Contest [ED]
• All Coming Attractions Coverage [ED]