Tito’s Cantina, Tito Ortiz

Tito Ortiz opens his first restaurant, Tito’s Cantina Tequila Bar & Grille

UFC Hall of Famer and former light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz is stepping into the restaurant business.

Ortiz, 48, will open Tito’s Cantina Tequila Bar & Grille in Cape Coral, Florida, featuring an authentic Southern California Mexican cuisine. Tacos, burritos, tostadas, quesadillas, protein bowls and more — will be homemade. Corn tortillas will be served “to keep it authentic.”

Guacamole and ceviche will be made tableside, and chips and salsa will be free with meals.

Tito’s catch will feature whatever fish Ortiz, an avid fisherman, catches the day before.

“It’s all my recipes,” Ortiz said. “I will be the chef. I know the flavors for the marinade. I’ll teach it all to my staff. For the first three or four months, I’ll be back there in the kitchen.”

Tito’s Cantina Tequila Bar & Grille is expected to open on Cape Coral Parkway in downtown later this month.

“I want to build a family business,” Ortiz told News-Press.com. “I gave my blood, sweat and tears fighting. Now I’m retired from that. This is my next chapter. I’m excited to come here every day.”

“I’ve been cooking for more than 25 years. My grandmother always told me to learn how to cook. She said, ‘You never know when you’re going to be alone.’ As a fighter, I made my own food. It’s clean, healthy, fresh with its own flavor.”

Ortiz expects to have 60 brands of tequila and 15 to 30 different margaritas.

“A lot of the higher tequila brands aren’t available here,” he said. “I’ll get them though. They’re my favorites. It goes with the food. We will have suggested pairings.”

Ortiz has not fought since a September 2021 first-round boxing loss to former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva.

Tito’s Cantina Tequila Bar & Grille, 1334 Cape Coral Parkway E., Cape Coral; TitosCantina@yahoo.com; follow on Facebook and Instagram

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