Fuzzy’s Taco Shop sets opening of smaller prototype in Minneapolis North Loop
Loose-Wiles Building location to feature scaled-down menu, artsy, futuristic design
Fuzzy’s Taco Shop reduced its footprint and slimmed-down the menu in a new Taqueria prototype debuting in North Loop, Minneapolis. The fast casual’s new concept, slated to open in April, represents the future of its expansion initiatives. The retail footprint was reduced from 3,000 to 4,000 SQF, for a typical store, to a range of 1,200 to 1,800 SQF.
A smaller-size menu, restaurant footprint
The simplified set of offerings is tailored to an off-premise market, but continues to feature a full bar. Fuzzy’s will feature fan favorites, including queso and guacamole, which is prepared in-house, along with fire-roasted salsa. Baja tacos, breakfast tacos, burritos, nachos, quesadillas, salads, traditional sides, and drinks will fare prominently on the scaled-down menu.
The Irving, Texas-based Baja-style chain continues to offer margaritas and beer at all locations. Where permissible, customers can order adult beverages for takeout.
The new design features a clean look, modern color palettes, and reduced, compact seating.
According to Jessica Wescott, chief operating officer and chief financial officer at Fuzzy’s Taco Shop, the franchisor pivoted to the smaller footprint so that franchisees could opt for a smaller size restaurant (and thus, investment) in light of the shift to off-premise dining.
A partnership between Fuzzy’s and Minneapolis-based commercial real estate broker Peter Fitzgerald and experienced operator Ed Pittsley led to finding an ideally-suited spot. A new, 1,100 square-foot location in North Loop, Minneapolis eventually became the destination for Fuzzy’s smaller prototype.
Minneapolis an ideal location for Fuzzy’s Taqueria
Wescott added, “At the same time, we understood from a consumer perspective this new footprint needed to be branded differently. It was important to keep the overall Fuzzy’s vibe our guests have come to love and trust with our great food, cold drinks and Baja feel, but also make the Taqueria a little different to showcase the reduced menu and a more take-out driven focus.”
Slated to open next month, the Fuzzy’s Taco Shop Taqueria will be located on the ground floor of the Loose-Wiles building.
“We really have the best of both worlds with people living and working in the vicinity,” Pittsley noted. “We are optimistic the Fuzzy’s brand will resonate with those in the area looking for affordable, approachable, fast casual dining. The future of dining is as much off-premise as it is in the restaurant, so this new footprint works perfectly to serve the needs for the neighborhood.”
The taqueria will join several acclaimed restaurants, entertainment venues, taprooms, and boutique shops in a walkable part of Minneapolis, next to Major League Baseball’s Target Field.
Fuzzy’ Taco Shop Taqueria North Loop, 701 Washington Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55401
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