Ian Lieberman was living in New York and working in restaurant franchising when he asked his brother and sister-in-law, Adam and J-Ray Lieberman, for a flavor favor.
He wanted the couple, who were toiling in restaurant management in Aspen, Colo., to drive more than three hours to Denver and taste test some fast casual, Baja-style Mexican fare at a place called Fuzzy's Taco Shop.
After reporting back to Ian with rave reviews, the trio decided to bring the concept to the Tampa Bay area. Ian, a 2002 Berkeley Preparatory School graduate, and Adam, a 2005 alumnus, will partner with J-Ray to open the first of at least five area Fuzzy's Taco Shops in early December at 2874 Providence Lakes Blvd. near Costco in Brandon.
"When we decided to start a family business in Tampa, we each agreed it needed to be an unbelievable concept," Ian said. "We grew up in Tampa; you are going to be hard-pressed to find a team as passionate about growing a business here."
Fuzzy's Taco Shops are known for a colorful and fun ambiance in a spacious footprint with food that has a little kick to it. From handmade enchiladas and jumbo salads to all-day breakfast and what Adam calls an impressive margarita and mojito menus, the Texas-based restaurant promises to help educate diners through a variety of dining options.
"The brand is so cool, the food is awesome and we will have drinks like nobody is doing in Tampa," said Ian, who moved back to town a year ago to select the site and start the buildout of the 3,300-square-foot site that also plans to contain a 700-square-foot dog-friendly patio.
The average check is $11-$12 and Fuzzy's invites you to stay all day to watch football and enjoy music and free Wi-Fi. There are more than 90 Fuzzy's in 10 states, with the first Florida location opening earlier this year in Sarasota.
The Liebermans have a six-year expansion plan and the second location already is in the works near the University of South Florida. They expect to hire 35 to 50 full- and part-time workers. Visit facebook.com/fuzzysbrandon for more hiring and restaurant opening information.
Contact Eric Vician at email@example.com.