The Untold Truth Of Fuzzy's Taco Shop

There's no denying the fact that the people of the Lone Star State really, really love their tacos. Whether it be for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, Texans seemingly can't get enough of tacos or Mexican food in general. And while you might not have heard of one of the most beloved taco shops in Texas, it's super popular amongst fans and has been expanding far beyond Texas for quite some time now. So, hopefully, you'll get a chance to try Fuzzy's Taco Shop soon, no matter where you live.

Now, if you've never been to Fuzzy's, then you probably don't know what the chain offers. Picture a bit of a dive-bar atmosphere, but with a welcoming and family-friendly experience, not to mention an expansive menu offering everything from tacos to enchiladas to nachos and even more drinks. There are even some fun dessert options if you've got some room left at the end of your hearty meal. 

In Texas and beyond, Fuzzy's is downright beloved because of the fact that pretty much everything there is delicious. They also offer a low-key dining experience and affordable prices. But what's the untold truth of Fuzzy's Taco Shop? Well, the restaurant — and the people who run it — are just about as down-to-earth as it gets. But there is more to it than you might think, and it's all pretty interesting.

Fuzzy's Taco Shop was bought by a father and son

To step into any Fuzzy's Taco Shop, it becomes abundantly clear that the establishment tries pretty hard to be welcoming and inviting to all of its patrons. And that definitely seems to be something that Fuzzy's has worked on since it was founded in 2001 (via D Magazine). Back then, as The Dallas Morning News reports, Fuzzy's began near the campus of Texas Christian University, so it's only natural that it wouldn't be super fancy, given that college students aren't known for their deep wallets or preference for fine dining. Fuzzy's would instead focus on being comfortable, cheap, and dedicated to serving up delicious tacos and Mexican food.

As if that wasn't enough to make Fuzzy's super endearing to its first customers, it was actually purchased by a father and son team just two years after it opened. According to The Dallas Morning News, Alan and Chuck Bush bought Fuzzy's after it had been around for only a couple of years, likely having seen just how much potential the taco shop had in its increasingly popular following. 

While the pair have since stepped down from their roles at Fuzzy's, it's rather heartwarming that the taco shop grew so much with a father and son running things together. Of course, there's no way to know where Fuzzy's would be today without the Bushes buying it, but it's clear the father-son duo took the chain to the next level.

Each Fuzzy's is meant to feel truly local

Obviously, Fuzzy's Taco Shop is a chain restaurant. And while it's pretty local to Texas and other southern states, that doesn't mean it hasn't expanded to become seriously successful. But unlike most other chains across the United States, at Fuzzy's, the decor and overall vibe are markedly different for each location. All told, that helps each one to feel a lot more local than you may think at first.

In fact, Paul Rickels, vice president of franchise for Fuzzy's Taco Shop, told QSR that no two Fuzzy's looked exactly alike. Indeed, that's kind of the point of each franchise. "Each restaurant is encouraged to make décor personal to the local community," Rickels said. "In Fort Worth, you'll find TCU memorabilia on the walls. Another location will have local high school cheerleading squad pictures on the walls. Each local community has its own identity and every community has ownership of its Fuzzy's." 

Basically, when you walk into a Fuzzy's Taco Shop, you might technically be walking into a chain restaurant, but that doesn't mean it has to feel like it. On the contrary, you'll feel more like you just walked into a local bar and taco shop, and that's pretty cool.

Fuzzy's is a relatively young business

If you've never heard of Fuzzy's, you might be surprised to learn that the chain isn't all that old, at least in the world of fast food chains. Yes, it's clearly grown a lot over the years, but Restaurant Business reports that the laid-back Mexican restaurant actually started with some pretty humble beginnings. Not only was Fuzzy's founded in 2003, but it was built super close to a college campus, meaning that its most immediate clientele were college kids who couldn't exactly spend a ton of cash on food.

As Fuzzy's own website put it, the goal of the chain was abundantly clear from the get-go: "It would have frosty drinks. It would have good vibes. It would be the kind of place that you never want to leave." For many, that's definitely what Fuzzy's has turned into over the years, despite the fact that it's still such a relatively young business. Now Fuzzy's has something of a cult-like following, and to think that it all started in Texas college town just over a decade ago is seriously impressive.

They've had some personnel change-ups

Obviously, Fuzzy's Taco Shop has gone through some changes since its founding. From new owners to new locations, and myriad menu changes as well, Fuzzy's has continued to grow in really positive ways over the years. Surely one of the biggest changes that has happened with Fuzzy's was a 2021 changeup in some high-level personnel for the company.

Specifically, Paul Damico was named the new CEO of the company in August 2021. "We can confirm that Paul is the CEO of Fuzzy's Taco Shop," a chain spokeswoman told Restaurant Business Online. "The leadership team is very excited about adding Paul's expertise to the Fuzzy's family, and we will be sharing more about that 'officially' in the coming weeks." According to Restaurant Business Online, Damico has plenty of experience in being a CEO for food companies, so it makes sense that he would be tapped to step into such a big role at Fuzzy's, which is surely looking to expand even further in the coming years and so many feel the need for an especially experienced captain at the helm.

Fuzzy's Taco Shop has seen some serious growth

For a restaurant that got its start in 2003, Fuzzy's has seen some seriously impressive growth since those early days, and in more ways than one. Specifically, in 2016, just 13 years after the first Fuzzy's opened, Fuzzy's Taco Shop got to celebrate the opening of their 100th store within the United States. 

The 100th location was opened in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and was a huge deal for the company. At the time, Executive Vice President Mel Knight said, "Hitting the 100 mark is a major milestone, considering that it all humbly began in 2003 with the purchase of that first struggling Fuzzy's Taco Shop by TCU in Fort Worth."

According to Restaurant Business Online, Fuzzy's has grown even more since that rather momentous occasion. As of August 2021, the company can boast of nearly 150 Fuzzy's Taco Shop locations, which are both company-owned and franchised, across 18 different states. That means that, in just five years, the restaurant opened a whopping 50 new locations in what was surely no small feat.

Their patios are all dog friendly

Any pet owner knows that it can be kind of heartbreaking to leave your dog at home while you head out to have fun without them. Aren't things a bit more fun when you get to take your furry friend along, too? But fortunately for dog owners, all the patios at Fuzzy's Taco Shop are guaranteed to be dog friendly, which means that you can bring your four-legged pal along with you as you chow down on tacos and margaritas

Fuzzy's even has some tips for how to prepare your dog for a trip to a Fuzzy's patio. After all, if you've never taken your dog to eat outside of a restaurant before, the experience, with its new people and many food aromas, might be a little overwhelming for them. So, Fuzzy's suggests keeping them on a leash if they're prone to make a run for it, encourage their good behavior by slipping them some (dog-friendly) food afterward, and of course, make sure they won't try and steal the meal from your plate or someone else's. Whether or not you decide to bring your dog to a Fuzzy's, it's still bound to be a good time on their patio, especially if you get to see some other furry friends while you eat, too.

The Fuzzy's menu is seriously expansive

When you think of a fast food taco joint like Fuzzy's, you probably imagine a ton of tacos, chips, beer, and not much else. But, take one look at their menu, and you'll see that this notion couldn't be further from the truth. Fuzzy's Taco Shop is obviously famous for its tacos, but that's not everything. Seriously, the Fuzzy's menu is so expansive that it's almost giving the notoriously thick menu of The Cheesecake Factory a run for its money.

Naturally enough, Fuzzy's Taco Shop offers tacos, but that's just the tip of the iceberg where the chain is concerned. The restaurant also offers salads, burritos, burrito bowls, nachos, quesadillas, sides like chips and queso or guacamole, a special menu for kids, and an all-day breakfast menu. And if that somehow weren't enough, there's also a dessert menu with options like American-inspired sopapilla bites and Oreo churros (yes, you read that correctly). As if that still doesn't sound good enough and you happen to have a hankering for a grown-up drink, they also have a ton of alcoholic beverages available for the 21 and over crowd. Clearly, when you're ordering something at Fuzzy's, tacos are just the beginning.

They pride themselves on being inexpensive

With a menu as large as it is, an environment as welcoming as can be, and food as delicious as it tastes at Fuzzy's Taco Shop, you're probably wondering just how expensive a meal out there can get. But that's definitely not something you need to worry about, because Fuzzy's actually prides itself on being pretty darn inexpensive. And more than that, it's not all just talk — they actually are easy on your wallet. No matter what location of Fuzzy's you head to in whatever state, you'll assuredly be able to feed yourself for less than $10. If you play things right, that can easily include a drink, too!

Paul Rickels, the vice president of franchise for Fuzzy's Taco Shop, told QSR that the restaurant was simply never going to overcharge its customers. "We offer generous portions at a fair price," Rickels said. "It's a value for the college student without a lot of discretionary funds, who finds fresh food very appealing." Rickels' statement harkens back to the early days of Fuzzy's, when hungry Texas college students flocked to the spot.

Really, no matter how much money you want to spend, you can get something delicious and filling at Fuzzy's. Specifically, the tacos are very inexpensive, not to mention some of the best-tasting things on the menu. So, if you aren't sure what to get, then just stick with one of their Baja-inspired tacos and you'll be good to go.

Their seasonal items are super popular

In addition to the already expansive and thoroughly impressive menu at Fuzzy's Taco Shop, they also regularly add in seasonal menu items to make the most of things that are in-season or on trend at the moment. For instance, in the summer of 2021, Fuzzy's added a new menu item that any Mexican-food lover would appreciate: a Hatch green chile taco (via Chew Boom).

Yes, from late July through August, Fuzzy's offered a new taco that truly encapsulated the flavors of New Mexico and the state's iconic green chiles all in one dish. The taco could feature either shredded chicken or spicy shredded pork along with the chain's signature garlic sauce, sliced avocado, feta, cilantro, and a delicious housemade Hatch green chile sauce, all served on a warm flour tortilla. Even though this menu item, as well as all the other seasonal items Fuzzy's offers, isn't available year-round, it still proved to be super popular. Fans of the establishment also surely appreciate the fact that new menu items are added on a somewhat regular basis. This all means that, at Fuzzy's, you can truly never get bored of the menu.

Fuzzy's has a large and varied customer base

Even though Fuzzy's Taco Shop was first started near a college campus and assuredly still has some loyal college customers, the fast food place's customer base has since expanded to a wider variety of diners. And that's exactly how Fuzzy's likes it. While fancier restaurants all tend to have the same kind of clientele, and ubiquitous places like Chili's or Applebee's often cater to somewhat budget-conscious families, the truth is that Fuzzy's doesn't have a stereotypical customer.

In an interview with QSR, Paul Rickels, vice president of franchise for Fuzzy's Taco Shop, explained that Fuzzy's was home to basically every type of person. "You might see a family with young kids at one table and business people in suits at another table, next to a table full of college kids, next to a table full of construction workers," he said. 

Additionally, Rickels added that all kinds of people with all kinds of jobs loved to come to Fuzzy's to decompress. "It's not uncommon to walk into a restaurant in the morning and see doctors and nurses having margaritas, because they just got off of work," he explained. In quite a few spots, Fuzzy's is a place where just about anyone can feel welcome, thanks to the careful lack of customer targeting that's so often used by other restaurants.

Fuzzy's bar menu is surprisingly robust

By now, you're probably familiar with just how many food options there are at Fuzzy's Taco Shop, and subsequently how popular the restaurant is with just about anyone who goes there. But Fuzzy's doesn't just serve amazing tacos and other Mexican food. As it turns out, they also serve a pretty impressive bar menu which people — at least the ones who are of legal drinking age — definitely love. After all, there's nothing quite like some delicious tacos with a frozen margarita on the side to perfectly quench your thirst.

You'll have a lot of choices on the drink menu, too. As one Yelp review put it, the Beerita at Fuzzy's is the perfect blend of sweet and tart. "The margarita mix they use is really sweet so the beer [balances] it out," they wrote. Another Yelper was quite a bit more ecstatic about the drinks. "The drinks make the visit worthwhile," the reviewer exclaimed. "The drinks are cheap and there is a lot to choose from so it's always a good time." If you've never had a drink at Fuzzy's, you may well want to consider ordering one next time to see what all the fuss is about.

Fuzzy's is ready for the future of eating out

Even though every Fuzzy's Taco Shop often feels like a local bar or dining spot to its patrons, they are still part of a larger chain. This means that they pretty much all follow the same overall concept, with some local twists here and there. So, when you go to a Fuzzy's, you can reliably expect it to be pretty large, with an ordering counter, plenty of seating inside and out, and a bar. But in 2021, Fuzzy's decided to take things in a new direction with a different franchise spot in Minneapolis, Minnesota, one that they are calling a new concept: Fuzzy's Taco Shop Taqueria.

Jessica Wescott, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of Fuzzy's Taco Shop told the Fort Worth Business Press that the new location would be smaller, with a more concise menu. However, she claimed that it would still very much feel like a Fuzzy's. "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," she said.