Bubbakoo’s Burritos plans to open its first Southwest Florida location in early December. The Mexican fusion chain is coming to the Boulevard Shoppes near Costco on Naples Boulevard in North Naples. The fast-casual restaurant is moving into a former jewelry store space on the western end of a center that also is home to BRK Pizza, Fuji Asian Bistro and Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt.
Bubbakoo’s funky menu includes build-your-own burritos, burrito bowls, quesadillas, tacos, nachos and taco salads. “We have some unique products that you’re not going to find at any Tex-Mex competitors,” said Tom Mirabella, Bubbakoo’s Burritos marketing partner.
For instance, the Chiwawa is a signature creation made with panko-breaded fried rice balls topped with nacho cheese and other burrito fixings. In addition to the expected ground beef or shredded pork and chicken, protein choices mix it up with atypical selections such as General Tso’s crispy chicken, Buffalo crispy chicken, barbecue pork and chicken, mango habanero chicken and grilled-to-order hibachi steak and shrimp. Desserts include fried Oreo cookies drizzled with caramel or raspberry sauce.
Taco and quesadilla kits also are available with all the ingredients to make dinner at home. “We’re really geared for the takeout and delivery model,” Mirabella said.
A chain based in Point Pleasant, N.J., which also happens to be the hometown of Jersey Mike’s Subs, Bubbakoo’s has more than 60 locations across nine states with more than 100 locations in development. The company’s founder came up with Bubbakoo’s odd name in college for a concept and beach vibe that especially appeals to surfers and skaters on the Jersey shore. The chain sponsors skaters and surfers to promote the brand, Mirabella said.
Bubbakoo’s strives to be involved in its communities through fundraisers with local schools’ sports teams and PTOs. Its “Read It To Eat It Project” is a school incentive for students to read five books for a free meal reward. The program has reached more than 100,000 students in 400 schools since it launched in 2019, Mirabella said.
Meanwhile, Hurricane Grill & Wings permanently closed this month after operating for 14 years in that same retail strip on Naples Boulevard. With last year’s closing of Hurricane Grill’s location at Coconut Point in Estero, the Cape Coral restaurant on Pine Island Road is the chain’s only remaining franchise in Southwest Florida. Other locations previously closed in Fort Myers and at Gulf Coast Town Center. Headquartered in West Palm Beach, Hurricane Grill still has many locations on Florida’s east coast and in Central Florida.