Much like the food served there, Fuzzy's Taco Shop locations come in all shapes and sizes.
Manny Leclerq, co-founder of The Social Order restaurant group with Brian Bogert, brought the first Fuzzy's in Oklahoma to Norman and Campus Corner. Nine years later, the same group is close to opening store seven in Midwest City.
"Fuzzy's is a national brand, but it's a locally owned business," Leclerq said. "So with every restaurant that we do -- whether it's an original concept or a national brand -- we try to make it local and be a part of the community."
Norman has certainly done that. Sooner football game days routinely give Fuzzy's the highest single-day sales in the whole company.
And since Fuzzy's opened in Norman, its popularity in the state has only grown. It's something company President Mel Knight attributes to Social Order.
"The reason it's become so successful in Oklahoma is those guys are tremendous operators and exploited every piece of those core values," Knight said.
Those values are affordable, high-quality food in a relaxed atmosphere.
"I think the brand is built on really good food, great healthy portions, made from scratch at a value," Knight said. "You throw in a cold beer and a margarita, a relaxed atmosphere, and one of the prerequisite for employees is you've got to smile and have fun."
Fuzzy's started as a 2,000 square-foot store in Fort Worth, Texas near the Texas Christian University Campus. In 2003, Knight and a group of investors acquired it with the idea of a small expansion.
"We thought originally we could have four or five taco joints and make a good living and have fun," Knight said. "There was just this interest in Fuzzy's from a franchising perspective. The footprint got bigger, the options got bigger."
Franchisees were chosen carefully to make sure they understood how Fuzzy's operates, Knight said. And as the menu grew, so did the appeal.
Leclerq said "fast-casual" dining has been a beneficial trend. The popularity of street food and food trucks -- which provide customers with fresh food quickly -- can be applied to what Fuzzy's serves, as well.
"You can come and get one taco, or you can sit down and have a full meal: chips, queso, nachos," Leclerq said. "It has sort of that funky, fun vibe that you'll see at something like a food truck, but it puts it in a brick-and-mortar and you can get a drink here. So it's really taking that vibe and feel and putting it in an even better environment."
It's the feeling Leclerq said he and business partner Bogert experienced when they first visited a Fuzzy's in Denton, Texas while considering whether to bring one to Oklahoma. The twist they wanted to bring to the franchise was the addition of a bar without interfering with the family-friendly vibe, Leclerq said.
"In Fuzzy's, a lot of them hadn't really tapped into a fun, bar environment without being too overbearing on people who just want to have a good meal and bring their family in," he said. "We try to blend that, be family friendly but have a great offering of alcohol."
Knight said the Norman store has the highest volume of alcohol sales in the whole company on OU game days. And while a Most Interesting Marg -- a margarita mixed with sangria with a bottle of Dos Equis -- is available for a pre-game treat, it's the loaded chicken nachos and Cali Heat taco that Fuzzy's is the most focused on.
"We love the fresh ingredients we use, we love the fact that we're cooking everything and we know exactly how everything is going to come out of the oven," Leclerq said. "The quality and the taste is amazing but the price is to where anyone can get it."
When Fuzzy's opened in Norman in 2010, it was the company's 20th store. Six years later, Leclerq said Fuzzy's was opening store 100, a period of exponential growth.
And he sees that growth continuing. A location will open in Midwest City soon, and there is interest in Yukon.
The biggest step would be entering the Tulsa market, something Leclerq said he is very interested in.
In the near term, Fuzzy's will turn 10 in Norman. That, alone, is an accomplishment, Leclerq said, and he wants to celebrate in style.
"We want to try to really have a great celebration, a blow-out," he said. "So we're looking for ways to make that really special. Being in a restaurant for 10 years is great in and of itself. We love being on Campus Corner.
"By starting on Campus Corner and being in a good environment here where it ties the city and community with the students, it's been a great fit. So we especially want to celebrate that."