06/20/2012 Fuzzy's Taco Shop closes

The tables and chairs inside of Fuzzy's Taco Shop were gone by Tuesday night. The restaurant, located at 111 S. River Rd., closed unexpectedly on Sunday.

Fuzzy's Taco Shop unexpectedly closed down on Sunday.

By Tuesday night, the company's website had removed the West Lafayette store as one of its locations. All of the chairs, tables and most of the decorations have also been removed.

Paul Rickels, vice president of franchising at Fuzzy's Taco Shop, said he was notified on Monday that the shop was closed.

"Being near a college campus is ideal for us," Rickels said. "I hate to see Fuzzy's go dark in that community."

Rickels said he has not yet been able to hear details of what happened from Dwight Hopson or Brian Jones, the store's co-owners.

"It comes down to funding," he said. "I've visited the area, and I still think it's a very viable market. I thought great things were starting to happen there."

He said the franchise generally doesn't market the brand to specific locations. Potential franchise operators who are passionate about the brand generally come to them, according to Rickels.

Granite Management, the landlord of the restaurant's location, also received no advance notice that they would be shutting their doors.

Joel Brovont, manager at Granite Management, said the restaurant's abrupt closing was a surprise to him.

"They did not communicate with us," Brovont said. "I was able to speak with one of the co-owners (Tuesday) to confirm the location was closed, but that was it. They took everything out, including the food service equipment, so I assume they won't be coming back."

Brovont said the co-owners were concerned about getting through the summer with nearby construction going on as well as having fewer students on campus, but to him, it didn't seem out of the ordinary.

He said he expects the now vacant location to be filled soon.

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