Mike Copeland: Castillo 100th restaurants; New QT; room scholarships; Food halls; Overview of building permits | Local business news

Texas now has more Fortune 500 headquarters than any other state, with its 53 surpassing New York’s 51 and California’s 50, according to a press release from the office of Texas Governor Greg Abbott.

Abbott credited the state’s “business-friendly climate and skilled labor force”, with no corporate or personal income taxes, easy access to global markets, and a reasonable regulatory climate.

“Fortune 500 companies account for two-thirds of the nation’s GDP with revenues of $16.1 trillion and employ 29.7 million people worldwide,” the press release said.

Chamber scholarships

Sixteen local students who participated in the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Training and Development Program were honored last week at the Carleen Bright Arboretum. They will receive scholarships totaling $84,000.

Madison Lindell, a senior from La Vega who hopes to study film and media arts at the University of Texas, received the largest scholarship of $20,000. Sponsors are First National Bank of Central Texas and Central National Bank.

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Students since 2010 have received scholarships totaling $550,000.

Food halls

The Tribune-Herald recently reported that UnionBrands Eateries Texas LLC, parent of the Union Hall food hall at Eighth Street and Franklin Avenue, will be taking its brand statewide, targeting mid-sized cities, starting with a location called Union Grove at 8100 Woodway Drive, which he hopes to open next year.

The company recently announced plans to open another location, called Union Crossing, on East Central Avenue in Temple. The name honors “Temple’s rich railroad heritage,” according to a press release.

Occupying 8,000 square feet and hosting nine vendors, Union Crossing will share an address with the Hawn Hotel building. Turner Behringer is revitalizing the hotel, near the Arcadia Theater and a former Sears building, creating space for living units, restaurants and offices.

Overview of building permits

Building permits issued in recent weeks include one for work worth $1 million for the renovation of Providence Medical Center, 6901 Medical Parkway. Another for $180,000 went to Baylor University to install blinds at the south end of McLane Stadium, according to a weekly bulletin from the local office of Associated General Contractors of America.

A $700,000 permit will allow modifications to the animal shelter at 2032 Circle Road. The office of associated general contractors has published tender notices for the creation of a sheltered courtyard.


QuikTrip opened a second store in the Waco area last week at North Loop 340 and Interstate 35 in Bellmead.

This is where the last Luby cafeteria in the neighborhood was demolished.

“QT’s new store model was created specifically for high-traffic areas of the country that are also within reasonable proximity to a QT distribution center for access to fresh food,” according to a press release.

QuikTrip also has a store on New Road near Interstate 35.

100 years of Castillo restaurants

The Castillo family associated with Tex-Mex and Italian cuisine locally since 1922 celebrates 100 years of operating restaurants in Waco.

The saga began when Antonio Castillo Sr. became sole owner of the Texas Cafe on Elm Avenue and offered a full Tex-Mex menu, a rarity in 1922, according to an account provided by Hispanic Chamber President Cen-Tex , Andrea Kosar.

Later came the Café Aztèque, with its dance hall at the back. Then there was El Patio, which met the demand for pizza fueled by those across the country stationed at James Connally Air Force Base in Waco. An Italian serviceman with ties to Chicago’s restaurant industry taught the Castillo family how to make pizza, spaghetti and lasagna that successfully rallied the troops, according to the story provided by Kosar. El Patio became Italian Village in 1952.

The Castillo family opened other restaurants locally, including Italian Village 2, La Fiesta, and finally Casa de Castillo at 4820 Sanger Ave.

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