Bangkok Royal and Bicycle World will be getting a new neighbor in their building at 215 University Parks Drive. Renovations will get started soon to add Fuzzy’s Taco Shop, a Fort Worth chain specializing in Baja-style tacos and burritos, to the distinctive red building downtown.
With the permitting process beginning yesterday, franchise owner Casie Cernat said she expects work on the space to get started within the next 30 days. She said Wacoans and students can expect the new restaurant to open in May or June, just in time for summer.
In addition to renovating interior space for the restaurant, construction will extend the patio by 19 feet, adding outdoor seating to the building.
“Downtown, there’s not a lot of outdoor seating,” said Trent Weaver, who owns the building where Fuzzy’s will be located. “We’ll be adding 400 to 700 square feet of outdoor tables.”
The outdoor dining environment will complement the boulevard of food trucks located across the street from the new Fuzzy’s location, turning the University Parks and Franklin Avenue downtown corner into an outdoor dining destination.
Cernat said the restaurant’s signature Baja style, which features tempura-battered shrimp tacos and blanco queso, and competitive price point help to differentiate it from nearby Torchy’s Tacos. Fuzzy’s also serves salads, sandwiches and breakfast tacos in addition to its Baja fare.
“It’s a fast, casual, Baja Mexican restaurant. The price point and service offerings are quite a bit different,” Cernat said. “It’s wonderful food, and the average price point of $9 for a full meal makes it a great deal.”
After being refranchised in 2003, the Fuzzy’s chain has expanded from Fort Worth to open 85 locations in 11 states, including Florida and Arizona. Weaver said Waco’s expanding downtown area makes it a natural choice for a new franchise location.
Weaver said he is looking at other potential tenants for his building at University Parks, which, in addition to Bangkok Royal and Bicycle World, formerly housed the Wild West nightclub. He declined to say who is considering a lease. Weaver plans to name the space the Stone’s Throw Building, a reference to its proximity to McLane Stadium, the Brazos River and the downtown area.