From Los Angeles Times article by Gustavo Arellano:
It was a rival to Taco Bell and Del Taco in the fast-food Cal-Mex wars of the 1970s, until Del Taco acquired the company in 1995 and unceremoniously shut it down. The erasure was so complete that when food writer Christian Ziebarth petitioned the United States Patent and Trademark Office in 2012 to take control of Naugles’ trademark, arguing that Del Taco had done nothing with it for decades and he was therefore legally allowed to revive the chain, the feds sided with him (Del Taco is still fighting the ruling).
Ziebarth knew what Del Taco didn’t: Culinary nostalgia is a powerful, lucrative force. And Naugles is Cal-Mex gold.
The opening weeks of Naugles’ Fountain Valley location in 2015 were so hectic that fans fainted in line because of the hours-long wait and excitement. As recently as May, a pop-up at Euryale Brewing Company in Riverside drew more than 700 people — far more than the 200 who reserved online.
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