A Fuzzy’s Taco Shop will anchor a development at University Parks Drive and Franklin Avenue, taking 4,000 square feet on the first floor of a building that Bicycle World and Bangkok Royal restaurant now occupy.
Waco businessman Trent Weaver, who owns the 34,000-square-foot building, said he will place a walkway and a patio for outdoor dining on the corner of the building nearest Mary Avenue to accommodate customers of Fuzzy’s Taco.
“We’re definitely going to be dressing up that corner quite a bit,” said Weaver, owner of W Promotions, 906 Austin Ave., which specializes in screen printing and personalized promotional material such as signs, banners and T-shirts.
He said he likely will complete his improvements in mid-to-late spring of next year, about the time the taco shop opens.
Fuzzy’s Taco, based in Fort Worth, has grown to 85 locations in 11 states. Its menu includes quesadillas, sandwiches, desserts, breakfast items and a jumbo burrito, but it has forged its reputation with a large selection of tacos. Offerings include, among others, grilled shrimp tacos, shredded chicken tacos, shredded spicy pork tacos, grilled fish tacos and tempura shrimp tacos.
“Fuzzy’s does a great job, offering quality food at a great price. I think it’s going to be a hit,” said Weaver.
The restaurant also will feature a roll-up door and a walk-up bar area near the walkway he said he plans to install.
“It will have a fun, casual environment and should be perfect for nighttime eating and entertaining,” he said.
Weaver said he hopes to make the Fuzzy’s zone an ideal complement to other improvements taking place near downtown and along Lake Brazos, which include new dining and entertainment venues, loft apartments and possibly another convention hotel.
“It will be right across the street from the Brazos River, where I hope things are about to start popping,” Weaver said. “I think we will be providing one of the nicer outdoor eating options right there in downtown.”
Fuzzy’s also is across University Parks Drive from several food trucks that have become popular with those who live and work downtown. The food trucks have taken up residence there until a more permanent development arrives.
The Fuzzy’s plaza also will operate not far from Spice Village, a collection of shops in River Square Center.
“That sounds exciting,” said Jennifer Wilson, owner of Spice Village, which attracted a sizable crowd Saturday due to Homecoming activities at Baylor University. “We welcome anything that brings more people to our area, and I believe that would, no doubt.”
Weaver calls his building and the development going on there “Stone’s Throw” because of its proximity to downtown and Lake Brazos.
In a news release, he said, “Having Fuzzy’s Taco Shop at the intersection of University Parks and Mary Avenue will reposition the development to have an upgraded and visually attractive frontage.”
Weaver said he and the Fuzzy’s Taco franchisee, Laurentia Cernat, will hire Robinson Construction to complete the interior renovation and create the patio.
Those additions will leave only 1,700 square feet vacant on the building’s first floor, between Fuzzy’s and Bicycle World.
Upstairs, 17,000 square feet remain untouched, and Weaver said he thinks it would prove ideal for retail or office use.
“I could see shops going in there, or even a 5,000-to-6,000-square-foot corporate office for someone,” he said. “I could put some windows on the river side, affording a beautiful view, and I’ve thought about putting apartments on top of the building.”
The patio outside Fuzzy’s will have competition from The Backyard, a new restaurant and entertainment venue that recently opened in the former Waco City Limits Club location at 511 S. Eighth St. The Patio on 8th, the restaurant part of The Backyard, offers a menu of burgers, barbecue, sandwiches, appetizers and salads, while The Backyard will run a full-service indoor bar.