Rubio’s Restaurants announced that it has completed the acquisition of eight restaurant locations in Florida previously operated as Lime Fresh Mexican Grills. Rubio’s will soon begin construction to convert these to new Rubio’s Coastal Grill restaurants, marking the California-based company’s first expansion to the East Coast.
As announced last fall, Rubio’s agreed to acquire the select Florida Lime Fresh Mexican Grill restaurant locations from its parent company, Ruby Tuesday Inc. The deal was subject to customary closing conditions, including obtaining certain consents and permits, and is now completed. Located in Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Tampa Bay, St. Petersburg, and Winter Park, the new restaurants are scheduled to open in the fall of 2016.
Rubio’s Coastal Grill is known for pioneering the fish taco and for its unique coastal cuisine. Cofounder Ralph Rubio brought his love of fish tacos to the U.S. after a college trip to Baja California, Mexico. Since its first restaurant opened in San Diego in 1983, Rubio’s Coastal Grill has established a passionate fan base throughout the Southwestern United States and has been credited for starting the fish taco phenomenon in America. Cited by The Washington Post and Los Angeles Times as the country’s top fish taco expert, Rubio’s has sold more than 200 million Original Fish Tacos.
“The acquisition of these eight Florida locations is a huge milestone for our company as it marks our first expansion to the East Coast,” Rubio says. “We’re incredibly excited to start transitioning the restaurants to Rubio’s Coastal Grill and look forward to opening the first location this fall.”
Rubio’s uses sustainable seafood in nearly all of its seafood dishes and has expanded its menu with inventive recipes, ranging from sustainable Grilled Gourmet Shrimp Tacos and Burritos to a California Bowl made with Wild Alaska Coho Salmon and a Chipotle Orange Salad with Wild Pacific Mahi Mahi. Other items—including burritos, bowls and fresh salads—feature Rubio’s grilled marinated chicken and steak, “no fried” pinto beans, handmade guacamole and a variety of signature salsas.
With the addition of the Florida market, Rubio’s Coastal Grill owns and operates nearly 200 restaurants.