A Lawrence-based Fuzzy’s Taco Shop franchisee will open a Topeka location in the next few months, taking over the former Team Sporting Goods store on 17th Street.
John Records, the franchisee, said the Topeka store will be his second, joining more than 100 Fuzzy’s Taco Shops throughout the country.
“We’re super-excited about Topeka,” he said. “We’ve had a number of people from Topeka who have come over and come to the store and say, ‘When are you going to have a Fuzzy’s in Topeka?’ Now we’ve finally closed on that building.”
Records said he originally intended to lease a building in the capital city for his company’s expansion, but the former Team Sporting Goods owner wanted to sell. He fell in love with the building, which has a unique architecture.
Records opened his family-run Fuzzy’s about five years ago, a move made after hitting a low point in his career. The Kansas City, Mo., native was laid off from his job in North Texas, where he had been for almost 15 years.
“I’m old enough to be concerned about a layoff,” he said. “We were going to Fuzzy’s quite a bit, actually, and we had to drive 20 or 25 miles. We were there often, and then they put one by us, and it was over. I asked my wife when I lost my job, ‘Can you see us owning a Fuzzy’s franchise?’ And she said ‘no.’ ”
“Anyway, we ended up owning one,” Records added, laughing.
But to establish his franchise, Records decided to return closer to home and family, moving from Texas to Lawrence. He joked about conflict, since he’s a K-Stater running a restaurant in Lawrence.
Fuzzy’s Tacos is known for its grilled fish tacos on soft corn tortillas, but the restaurant has all the traditional styles of tacos as well. Other popular items are quesadillas and burritos.
Records said he looked for a location near Washburn University because Fuzzy’s Tacos typically cater to college students.
A timeline for opening the Topeka location is still being worked out, but he expects to open at the end of March or early April 2017.
Contact reporter Morgan Chilson at (785)295-5659.