Young entrepreneur aims to realize lifelong dream of owning food truck park

88 Social will pay homage to owner’s late brother

SAN ANTONIO – Ricardo Ortiz used to talk about owning a business with his late brother, Armando Ortiz, who died in a crash in 2017.

“We would always pitch ideas back and forth with each other,” he recalled. "You know, different bar themes and different restaurant themes and what we think could blow up in the city and get traction."

If all goes according to plan, that dream could become a reality by spring 2020.

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Ortiz is gearing up to open 88 Social along Avenue B near 10th Street, just north of downtown. The 8,000-square-foot area will be able to accommodate five food trucks, and two shipping containers will be turned into a bar, restroom area and storage space. The rest of the lot will be open space for customers to enjoy the outdoors.

Ortiz said the place was ideal for his plans. The location is next to a construction site that will bring in new retail space, offices and apartments.

Ortiz owns Wrigleyville Grill Food Truck, and he says there are not many options for small business owners to get exposure in the downtown area. He hopes to change that with 88 Social.

“It gives a good opportunity for the people that we’re working with to be able to bring their business to an up-and-coming neighborhood that would otherwise be unaffordable,” Ortiz said.

The outside of the storage containers will be used as a canvass for local artists to change each season.

“To be able to showcase, you know, local artist creativity and also give our customers and guests kind of like an Instagram opportunity,” Ortiz said.

If all city permits are approved, he hopes 88 Social will be in business by spring 2020. He thinks the product is something his brother would be proud of. Ortiz wanted to pay homage to him since 1988 was his brother’s birth year.

“He’s always wanted to have a place of his own, and now he will,” Ortiz said.

Ortiz is currently looking for food truck owners with whom to work.

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