The owner of the Pots-N-Tots food cart is opening a location at West Towne mall and is calling the move "food cart to food court."
Pots-N-Tots will be located not far from Fancy Roll, a rolled ice cream kiosk Pots-N-Tots' owner Rob Kratochwill opened in October with his girlfriend, Maggie Jingga, and her sister, Dewi Jingga.
Kratochwill said the Pots-N-Tots mall location will have its grand opening April 8. Meanwhile, the distinctive cart he painted himself with the tot-eating Napoleon Dynamite, will no longer be found on the Capitol Square.
Instead, the 4-year-old cart is being privately booked for scheduled lunches and catering, he said.
The mall Pots-N-Tots will offer 25 tater tot flavors daily and will add melts and pressed sandwiches to its menu.
The menu will also have a fish and chips basket along with a Friday night fish fry, mac and cheese dishes, "Tub O Tots" (aka tot boats), and possibly homemade apple pie, Kratochwill said.
The fish fry will start out with cod and perch options served with slaw and tots, while catfish and tots will be served daily. Eventually, Kratochwill hopes to add a pan-seared salmon filet.
Fancy Roll is doing well, and Kratochwill said that as long as he's at the mall so much, "why not just keep my business going there?"
The idea is to bring a fresh, new food concept to the mall and in the process attract new customers, he said.
Besides Maggie Jingga, Kratochwill is partnering with Adam Markley for the Pots-N-Tots mall location. Jingga and Kratochwill will share responsibility for both Pots-N-Tots and Fancy Roll and will rotate the responsibilities.
Kratochwill calls Markley a longtime friend who is knowledgeable about Pots-N-Tots cooking and history. "Plus, he's a great asset to the company when it comes to more brains and manpower."
The name will remain Pots-N-Tots, "but with a new look and familiar art on the storefront walls," Kratochwill said, noting that renovations are underway.
The food court location formerly housed Stir Fry 88, and is between Subway and Claire’s, said mall spokeswoman Tiffany Bernhardt Schultz. From the outer food court entrance, it’s the last unit on the right before the mall retailers.
The reason Kratochwill wants the mall spot is to be available to the public in all kinds of weather, all year long, and seven days a week, "with more yummy comfort food options," he said.