PITTSBURG — Three new restaurants and a local coffee shop will open inside of Block 22 this fall.

Set to open on the ground floor of the commerce building on fourth street, TOAST will be a casual restaurant with a menu centered on toast.

“Toast has been around since the Romans,” Heather, a 2005 and 2007 graduate of Pittsburg State University, said in a release. “TOAST is comfort food at its finest and the combinations are limitless enough to keep it interesting and the premise is familiar enough to crave it daily.”

Along with toast options, the restaurant will feature seasonal salads, vegetables, pastries and gelato.

Originally based in Santa Monica, California, Brick + Mortar will make its home at the commerce building on the west side of Broadway. It will occupy the space formerly held by Crowell’s Pharmacy.

“People have been asking us a lot why we would come to Pittsburg, Kansas, from L.A.,” Co-owner Travis Lester said in a release. “My answer is always this — why not? Pittsburg is a great community with a lot of growth happening right now and I think this is the perfect place for our restaurant.”

The menu at its Santa Monica location serves salads, pizzas, and main dishes such as fish tacos, fried chicken, and and burgers.

Cali Burrito will bring quick-service Mexican food to Pittsburg. It will be located in the Baxter building, west of Broadway between Brick + Mortar and the Colonial Fox Theater.

Co-owner Justin Safier cited the restaurant as a “cooler, better version of Chipotle.”

Although it has been located at 802 North Broadway since 2015, Root Coffeehouse will move into a bigger space — the ground floor of the Opera House Hotel on the east side of Broadway — in October. It will be renamed Root Coffeehouse and Creperie to reflect the variety of drink and food options available.

“I don’t know the number of potential businesses we spoke to, but we had quite a few, and we very dedicated to the idea of creating an entrepreneurial ecosystem community within the whole thing,” Shawn Naccarato, Director of Government and Community Relations at PSU, said. “We wanted this to be a mix to not only support the hundred students living above, but also to further support the downtown renaissance and development, and really just make this a destination spot for entertainment and food.”

Naccarato discussed how each restaurant will bring a unique experience to the downtown area.

“It’s a terrific mix of having that kind of fast, casual thing with Cali Burrito, while Toast is this quaint combination of gourmet toast treatment with wine,” he said. “Brick + Mortar, meanwhile, is this larger scale, high-quality food, but features a cool aesthetic and atmosphere, so I hope we have managed to to secure that variety.”

Naccarato said these particular businesses were chosen in part because of the niche they will fill in the community.

“We wanted to make sure that what we were putting in would not undermine the existing restaurants in downtown like Harry’s, so that place will still secure that classic diner space,” he said. “I think you’ll see people drive from far away to come here so that it’s an attraction to downtown Pittsburg.”

 — Brandon Schmitz is a staff writer for the Morning Sun. He can be reached at bschmitz@morningsun.net.