Orange County’s once-forgotten Naugles fast food franchise is back and thriving after a 23-year hiatus, earning their first full-fledged restaurant location in Huntington Beach. That’s according to the OC Register, which has been following the path of new owner Christian Ziebarth closely ever since the OC-based fast food blogger won a trademark lawsuit against Del Taco to gain control of the Naugles name.
Back in 2015, Ziebarth successfully argued in court that Del Taco had let their stranglehold on the Naugles name expire, and that he should be allowed to resurrect the chain (which once boasted 200 locations nationally before being absorbed for good in 1995). A judge agreed, and since then Ziebarth has been keen to regrow the name, partially out of a sense of nostalgia but also because of heavy demand. Lines were massive early on at the Naugles test kitchen — basically a small commissary location in Fountain Valley — and continued into the company’s summer-only beachside location in Huntington Beach last summer. Now a first new permanent standalone location is coming.
This new Naugles takes over a former dry cleaner at the 5061 Warner Avenue, a few miles from their summertime beach location, which is also returning this year. It’s not a defunct former Del Taco with a drive thru (that would be too perfect), but nonetheless fans have to be happy to have a new non-commissary kitchen space to enjoy Naugles hard-shelled tacos, bean burritos, burgers, and hot sauces. Ziebarth tells the Register that a fall opening is likely, and confirms that the company still has hopeful plans to open up as many as 1,000 locations when all is said and done.
Naugles Huntington Beach
5061 Warner Ave.
Huntington Beach, CA