Rubio’s, popular fish taco chain files for protection from bankruptcy

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Rubio’s Coastal Grill is famous for its fish tacos. (Courtesy: Rubio’s)

SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — The company that owns the Rubio’s Coastal Grill chain has filed for bankruptcy protection, saying it needs to strengthen its financial standing.

Rubio’s Restaurants Inc. said in a news release it has reached agreements creditors and its lenders “to recapitalize the company.”

Under the plan, Rubio’s plans to cut down some of its debt and transfer ownership to its lenders, opening up additional resources to support its restaurants in throughout the Southwest.

Rubio’s Coastal Grill, based in San Diego, Calif. has filed for bankruptcy protection. (Courtesy: Rubio’s)

More than two dozen locations have already closed this year due to “unforeseen business circumstances” related to the coronavirus pandemic. About 150 of its franchises will continue operating.

“The agreement with our sponsor and lenders will position the Company to thrive in this constantly evolving market,” said Rubio’s President and CEO Marc Simon. “This plan will strengthen our finances and allow us to continue to serve our loyal guests and drive our business forward.”

While in college, Ralph Rubio, the chain’s founder, ate and saw the fish tacos being made in the fishing village of San Felipe, Baja California, Mexico.

He brought the idea to San Diego and opened his first restaurant near Mission Bay in 1983.

The chain is best known for its Original Fish Taco. Before the pandemic, it employed more than 4,000 people throughout California, Arizona, Colorado, Utah and Nevada.

Rubio’s is headquartered in Carlsbad, Calif.

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