The original Bruxie reopened today, Tuesday, Sept. 22, in Old Towne Orange, with new owners. TCGM Holding Company, LLC, has bought the entire chain, both corporate stores and franchise locations.
“The investor group, led by Gordon Miles, has always loved this brand,” said new CEO Scott Grinstead, referring to Miles, founder and chairman of the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Restaurants. “It’s the best, fast-casual food out there, hands down. And we’re just super excited to have the opportunity to be able to shepherd this brand into the future of what we know it can be.”
The restaurant was founded in 2010 by Dean Simon and Chef Kelly Mullarney who transformed the old Dairy Treet food stand in Old Towne Orange into a hip new venue. It was a hit with locals and Chapman University students, serving coffee, its signature fried chicken and other waffle sandwiches and it garnered cult status with fans, ranking No. 2 on Yelp’s 2011 list of most popular restaurants in the U.S.
By 2013 it was branching out into Los Angeles, San Diego and Denver, with the help of investment funds from restaurateurs Bill Allen and Paul Fleming and equity firm L Catterton. Eventually there were locations in Las Vegas, South Korea, India and a food truck in Alabama.
But stores shuttered at the beginning of the pandemic. “I was still involved in development at the time that the previous majority, or controlling interests, had the company,” said Mullarney. “I’m just going to say that when COVID hit and for whatever reason, the decision was made to completely shut all the businesses down, truthfully, it was a bit of a gut punch as a co-founder and someone who has a passion for Bruxie.”
Enter Miles and TCGM Holding Company with the assets to keep the brand going. Today Grinstead and Mullarney announced that the Brea location will reopen on Wednesday, Oct. 7 and more locations will be making their return.
“We’re going to move forward methodically with our decisions. You can only open up restaurants so quickly and do it right,” Grinstead said.
As for the menu, regulars will be glad to know that many of the items they’ve been craving will be available. “We’re excited to bring back fan favorites such as BBQ Pulled Pork and Braised Beef Short Rib Waffle Sandwiches as Throwback Specials,” Mullarney, said, adding that Hot Pastrami & Swiss and Lemon Cream & Berries will be making a comeback too.
Frozen custard will be served in cups, shakes and other treats. The famous waffle fries will still be offered as well. “If we changed from our crispy, beautiful waffle fries, I think there’d be an uproar,” Mullarney said. “The menu is streamlined, but it really has the heart and soul of its roots.”
Find it: 292 N. Glassell St., Orange, bruxie.com.
Open: 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday; and 8 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday-Sunday.