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The Minnesota company behind the restaurants Crisp & Green and Stalk & Spade is launching yet another franchise restaurant chain.

Steele Brands announced Paco & Lime will be opening in the North Loop neighborhood of Minneapolis in December, next to the existing Stalk & Spade in the Duffey building at 528 N. Washington Ave.

According to the company, a second and third location will open in Maple Grove and Wayzata (at 810 E. Lake Street) in early 2023, with 12 in total slated to open in the Twin Cities over the next two years.

Paco & Lime will serve tacos, burritos, nachos and other Mexican food. Entrees will feature both meat and plant-based meat options, with a menu of margaritas as well.

Entrepreneur Steele Smiley, who owns Steele Brands, debuted his first restaurant concept Crisp & Green in 2016. There are now more than a dozen of the salad chains in the Twin Cities with more set to open, with the company in the process of expanding to 20 other states.

Smiley followed it up with the plant-based fast food concept Stalk & Spade, with three open in the Twin Cities and moves underway to expand to Florida, New York, and Iowa. Stalk & Spade's North Loop location opened in mid-September.

There appears to be demand for Paco & Lime too, with Smiley saying franchise rights for the chain in the Twin Cities as well as two other states have already sold out, with Smiley saying the plan for his "innovative, healthier, made-from-scratch" menu is to "go directly after the incumbent players that we all know well."

"I am not aware of any restaurant franchise, or any franchise for that matter, that sold all rights to three key markets before a concept store was built or a menu was available for tasting,” Smiley said in a press release. "Steele Brands franchisees who have experienced great success with our Crisp & Green brand are quickly buying rights to establish Paco & Lime restaurants in their neighborhoods.”

Smiley also founded Steele Fitness and later sold it to Snap Fitness.

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