When Whitney Reitz was a student at the University of Oklahoma in 2010, she was hired to work as a cashier at a new Fuzzy’s Taco Shop opening just a few blocks from campus.
Nine years later, Reitz is about to open her own Fuzzy’s on a different college campus. Aug. 19 will be opening day for Wichita’s second Fuzzy’s Taco Shop, and this one will be on Wichita State University’s Innovation Campus.
The new Fuzzy’s, which opens on the same day classes start at WSU, also will be the first restaurant (besides Starbucks) to open in the new Braeburn Square development, which is just west of 21st and Oliver.
“I really love being the first,” said Reitz, who moved to Wichita last fall and also took over the Rock Road franchise opened by Trace Welch in March 2018. “It gives us this really neat opportunity to set the pace for what Braeburn Square is going to be.”
Reitz said that because the square is not especially close to the main campus, she anticipates her lunch business will come from people who work on the Innovation Campus and nearby. She expects to see students later in the day, when classes let out.
The restaurant will have a few special touches meant to make the business welcoming to students. For one, instead of happy hour. it will have “study hour,” when select food and drink will be discounted. Many of the tables and booths in the restaurant are fitted with or have easy access to electric outlets, too.
And nearly all of the staff will be WSU students, Reitz said.
Another interesting fact: Fuzzy’s corporate recently launched a re-branding project that will give all new Fuzzy’s restaurants a different look: less of a loud, cartoonish vibe and more of a laid-back “Baja” feel, Retiz said. The WSU Fuzzy’s will be the first restaurant in the chain to get the re-branded look.
It also will be the only one to have a signature piece of decor: a giant, custom painted “Wu-Shark” that will adorn the wall.
Fuzzy’s will have a full bar and will serve breakfast, too. Its hours will be 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sundays through Wednesdays and 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. Thursdays through Saturdays.
Also, the Wichita State Fuzzy’s will, as all Fuzzy’s do, award the first 50 people through the door on opening day coupons good for one free taco plate a week for one year.
Wichita State also recently announced plans for another Braeburn Square restaurant, which should open this fall. It will be called Journey East Asian Grill and will be run by the owners of Malaysia Cafe.