Three new restaurants will open this fall in Downtown Pittsburg as part of the innovative, historic Block22 project. And at the heart of each of them are Pittsburg State alumni.

The new restaurants are expected to open in October or early November.


Heather and Roger Horton, owners of Sweet Designs Cakery in Downtown Pittsburg, are opening TOAST, a fast-casual eatery with a diverse menu centered around toast.

“Toast has been around since the Romans,” said Heather (BA ‘05, MA ‘07). “Toast can be found in many households across America today for breakfast, a snack or even dessert. TOAST is comfort food at its finest. The combinations are limitless enough to keep it interesting and the premise is familiar enough to crave it daily.”

The menu will feature a variety of breads and toppings for toast, from white bread with seasonal veggies and hummus to sourdough bread with cinnamon and sugar.

Brick + Mortar

With a focus on “food, vibe, and ambience,” Brick + Mortar has quickly become one of the top dining spots in Santa Monica, California.

For Travis Lester, who co-owns Broseph Restaurant Group with business partner Justin Safier, it’s a bit of a homecoming. Lester is a

BA ‘04 graduate of Pitt State, where he played baseball for the Gorillas.

“My time at Pittsburg State shaped me into the man I am today, Lester said. “It’s an amazing feeling to be able to come back and be a part of not just Pittsburg, but also this exciting Block22 project.”

Brick + Mortar will incorporate the elements of a classic neighborhood bar in a chic, luxurious way, while serving up a mouth-watering menu of Modern American fare that surprises the senses by adding a twist to the simplest.

Cali Burrito

Asked to name a restaurant they’d like to see in Pittsburg, PSU students often mention Chipotle. Safier and Lester are opening what they call a cooler, better version of Chipotle: Cali Burrito.

It will be a quick-service restaurant featuring fresh ingredients and “a cool, modern vibe.”

Root Coffeehouse & Creperie

Since opening in the fall of 2015 at 802 N. Broadway, Root Coffeehouse has become a staple in Downtown Pittsburg.

It has become so popular, in fact, that owners Lindsey Kling (BA ‘10), Trent Kling (BS ‘07, MA ‘10), and Taylor Whiteley (BA ‘16), began talking about finding a bigger space. When the opportunity to move into Block22 came up, they jumped at the chance.

“I think it’s going to be amazing,” said Lindsey. “When we opened three years ago, we just weren’t sure how it would go. You never know until you’re there and in it. The response from the community has been incredible, and needing more space is a very good problem to have.”

For more information about Block22, visit