Rubio’s to surf Visalia market

Job seekers and chain food aficionados received some welcome news last week: Rubio’s is coming to town.

No, not the presidential Republican candidate, but rather the seafood Mexican chain that boasts the Original Fish Taco. The San Diego-based beach food franchise recently announced on Facebook that it was opening its first location in Tulare County. On Feb. 11 and Feb. 13, Rubio’s recruiters set up a tent and tables in front of its future location to accept applications and conduct impromptu interviews with potential employees. More than 5,000 responded to the company’s post on Facebook and more than 500 people applied during the two-day hiring period.

Job recruiters with Rubio’s said the restaurant would be hiring as many as 35 employees at the new Visalia location, which is inside the former Wet Seal Plus Size building at 4021 S. Mooney Blvd. Job applicants were told the restaurant will open its doors by the end of March.

The Central Valley is part of expansion plans for the chain this year. Along with Visalia, Rubio’s will be opening a second location in Fresno and its first location in Bakersfield before the end of the year. Recruiters said Rubio’s also has plans to open locations in Lodi and Manteca in 2016.

Inspired by a trips to Mexican beach towns during college, Ralph Rubio fell in love with fish tacos while surfing the beaches of Baja California. Shortly after graduating from college, Ralph opened his first location as a walk-up stand in Mission Bay in San Diego in 1983. In addition to fish tacos, Rubio’s menu has grown to include lobster and shrimp burritos, seafood salads and bowls, as well as coastal versions of traditional chicken and steak tacos, burritos and enchiladas and non-fried pinto beans.

Rubio’s is still based out of San Diego but has expanded to operate over 190 restaurants in California, Arizona, Colorado, Utah and Nevada. For more information, visit rubios.com.

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