Mexican chain restaurants from all around the country often turn their sights onto metro Phoenix as a possible expansion destination. Yes, there is a high volume of similar businesses doing well in the area, but what many of these external franchises fail to realize is it simply isn’t as easy as opening up shop. It isn’t an if you build it, they will come kind of thing. Unlike most other cities around the country, despite the abundance of Mexican food options in the area, the industry does a relatively good job of policing itself. It weeds out the locations that underperform with their food. Franchises coming to Phoenix need to be up to snuff, otherwise, their expansion dreams will fail. That is exactly what happened to one national chain that tried to make a go at it in the Valley.
Based out of New Jersey, Bubbakoo’s Burritos opened up in Gilbert just nine months ago. That is all it took for ownership to realize they made a mistake, as the restaurant has officially closed up shop.
The burrito joint has little to no actual connection to Mexican cuisine. Its website describes its burrito restaurant as having roots in skater culture and the “shore scene.” While skater culture is alive in pockets around metro Phoenix, the “shore scene” simply doesn’t translate into a metro area that, simply put, is one of the best Mexican food and burrito destinations in all of the United States.
The restaurant wasn’t strictly burritos, but it also offered an eclectic hodgepodge of other options, including General Tso’s chicken (the way the restaurant balled up their burritos can prove cringe-inducing). Located close to Sam’s Club at 2649 South Market Street in Gilbert, there’s no word yet as to what will replace the failed establishment, but as it is already set up with a griddle and other cooking surfaces, there’s a good bet a similar restaurant will take over the space in the coming months.
While this particular move proved to be an immense failure for the franchise, it is continuing to expand, although almost all of its expansion plans are focused along the Northeastern corner of the United States. If you are planning to visit New York, Maryland, Delaware, New Hampshire, or New Jersey any time soon, chances are you’ll stumble upon another Bubbakoo’s Burritos.
For now, if you’re hungry for a burrito (or General Tso’s chicken), you will continue to have plenty of options at your disposal in the Valley.
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