Albuquerque’s appetite for eating out has attracted another budding restaurant chain.
Bubba’s 33 — a new concept owned by Texas Roadhouse — plans to open an Albuquerque location late this year.
If all goes as planned, the Duke City restaurant would become location No. 2 for the brand, joining just the original, year-old Bubba’s 33 in Fayetteville, N.C.
“We picked Albuquerque because the citizens’ love of restaurants. … The city of Albuquerque supports restaurants very well,” Texas Roadhouse spokesman Travis Doster said Tuesday. “This is only our second one, so we thought we’d get some great feedback and input as we build this (concept) out.”
Bubba’s 33 has begun the city permitting process for a new, 8,700-square-foot building along Pan American Freeway. As proposed, Bubba’s would go up next to Cheddar’s, joining a host of other large restaurants lined up in front of the Century Rio 24 movie theater.
Bubba’s 33 specializes in stone-baked pizzas, hamburgers and beer, including a signature hamburger that features 33 percent ground bacon. It caters to the sports fan, with more TVs than tables.
Doster described the concept as “made-from-scratch food with a sports twist, and an entertainment twist.”
Tentative plans call for the Albuquerque location to open in December. The restaurant likely will employ about 140 people, and hiring should begin about six weeks ahead of the opening, Doster said.
While the goal is to continue growing the Bubba’s 33 brand, the company is not rushing. Response to the early locations could help set the tone.
“I think there are definitely communities that really, really support food and eat out a lot and give you great feedback, and that you can count on,” Doster said, adding that he puts Albuquerque on that list.
Bubba’s 33 is not the first young restaurant brand to come to Albuquerque. Just last month, Rock & Brews — a small chain with just six existing locations — announced plans to open a franchised location in the Duke City. Rock & Brews Albuquerque should open this summer.