gator btw

Gator BTW, located at 1402 W University Ave.

A burger, taco and wings joint moved into the spot Burrito Brothers once occupied — and it will possibly name one of its tacos after the former restaurant’s owner.

Gator BTW is a franchise of the South Florida restaurant Hurricane BTW, but it was given the Gator name to better connect with UF students and the local Gainesville community, said Nicholas Montanaro, a managing partner of the restaurant. It opened Monday at the 1402 W University Ave. location.

“We’re here to stay, and we’re here to support the community and the university,” Montanaro said.

Montanaro said he’s been speaking to Randy Akerson, the former Burrito Bros. owner, about naming a food item after Akerson.

“We’re working on having a Burrito Brothers taco,” Montanaro said. “We have a lot of people that were loyal to Burrito Bros. that came in.”

Akerson said he was unsure of the idea but was honored that Gator BTW thought of naming a menu item after him.

“They have been very gracious to me,” Akerson said. “But the experience is mixed for me having lost my restaurant and the chaos that came up from that.”

Jack Gandolfo, owner of Gator BTW, said his restaurant was designed for the fast-paced lives of UF students by adapting Hurricane BTW’s sit-down dining concept to a fast-casual dining experience.

The prices for most of their menu items range from about $4 to $15. Gator BTW’s most expensive item is the 50 count bone-in wings for $55.

To combat issues of parking around the restaurant, which caused Burrito Bros. to close, Gandolfo said he’s reached out to The Standard, a nearby apartment complex, about renting spots in its garage.

He said he has not heard back from the complex, but he anticipates most of his customers coming from UF by foot.

“Our concept is price it right, get it as quickly as possible and still have some great food,” Gandolfo, 59, said.

Correction: This story has been updated to reflect the correct spelling of Randy Akerson's name. A previous version misspelled his name as Ackerson.