Where did Naugles go? Swamped by fans, the reborn fast-food brand plans limited hours, weekends-only service

Christina Smith booked a flight to Orange County from Phoenix the moment she heard her beloved Naugles was open for company again.

Her nonrefundable flight lands next week.

The 48-year-old panicked as soon as she heard the Mexican fast-meals restaurant in Fountain Valley had closed this week after simply four days of operation. Overwhelming necessity for the once-defunct however reborn brand had required its owners to pause and reboot.

“Oh no! Any kind of opportunity they will certainly reopen?” she asked the Register. “I booked my flight last week. I’m simply flying in to consume Naugles.”

For followers love Smith – jones-ing for a red-sauce slathered cheese burrito – the stalled comeback is spine on. however for a restricted time.

Related story: Fast-meals hero or failure? Naugles brand-new owner talks regarding fan support, backlash

Christian Ziebarth, a web developer spearheading the Naugles rebirth after a 20-year disappearance, said the restaurant will certainly reopen Saturday.

The catch? Naugles will certainly just be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends.

Ziebarth reminded followers on social media that the restaurant – tucked in an industrial company complex – is a corporate test kitchen. Eventually, he and his two partners strategy to open a permanent drive-through location that serves followers 24/7.

“This current location is simply training wheels, not a dream spot,” Ziebarth said.

Last week, the no-frills restaurant didn’t faze eager fans.

Hundreds showed up as word spread on TV, the Internet and neighborhood newspapers that long-gone favorites – bean cups and combo burritos – were back.

Lines snaked out the door. Wait times crept past an hour. Some overzealous followers stockpiled, loading up on takeout orders of burritos.

With gridlock in the kitchen, Naugles capped orders to just two items per person.

“Our main objective was to sustain the line moving,” said Ziebarth, that in one afternoon, gained four trips to the restaurant supply store.

Earlier this year, Ziebarth wrested the Naugles name away from Lake Forest-based Del Taco after a four-year trademark battle.

The triumph paved the method for him or her to reopen Naugles. After hosting a couple of sold out pop-up events last year, the meals blogger from Huntington Beach knew there was demand.

But he had no suggestion that last week’s “soft opening” would certainly be met Along with such a frenzy.

“We couldn’t be certain of exactly what the crowds could be like,” he said. “For the initial very first opening, it was a roll of the dice.”

As he and his partners devised a strategy to cope Along with the swarming crowds, Naugles closed this week to regroup.

Instead of obtaining mad or frustrated at the closure, many social media followers rallied behind Ziebarth – that has actually reluctantly come to be a neighborhood fast-meals hero.

“People this is a launch of Naugles. Be patient, Along with time it will certainly get hold of better,” fan Sally Hisa Contreras wrote on the Naugles Facebook page.

For many, Naugles is regarding the reliving the past.

During its heyday in the 1970s and 1980s, Naugles was among the couple of locations teens and college students could hang out and consume inexpensive meals after midnight. The last restaurant closed in 1995 after the merger Along with Del Taco.

“My friends and I used to sit in their parking lot chatting regarding life late in to the night over cheese burritos. Great times,” said Kurt Heiden, 49.

Heiden grew up in Yorba Linda however now lives in a suburb of Boston. He’s returning to Orange County next week on a company quest – Along with simply sufficient time to visit Naugles.

For Smith in Phoenix, tasting Naugles next week could end a decades-long obsession.

She has actually searched for Naugles recipes online and visited a knockoff restaurant in Northern California to quench her insatiable hunger.

She’s currently memorized her order for next week: two combo burritos, two tossed salad cups, chili cheese french fries and “lots of” Naugles hot sauce.

“I’m crossing my fingers he’s got the recipes right,” she said.

Naugles address: 18471 Mt. Langley Ave Fountain Valley.

Contact the writer: nluna@ocregister.com and follow the Fast meals Maven on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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