- Local Mexican fast food chain Guzman y Gomez has launched its first store in United States, in the Chicago suburb of Naperville.
- Founders Steven Marks and Robert Hazan – both native New Yorkers – say it has been their dream to "bring the brand back to the U.S."
- The Chicago flagship store is the 135th store internationally, joining locations in Australia, Singapore, Japan
- Visit Business Insider Australia's homepage for more stories.
You might be of the mistaken belief there are more than enough Tex-Mex chains in the U.S. market. Wrong! There's always space for an Australian entrant.
Guzman y Gomez, Mexican fast food chain which started in Australia in 2006, has made its first foray into the US market with a store in suburban Chicago. The Naperville store is the company's 135th globally, following stores in Singapore, Japan and – obviously – Australia.
Founders Steven Marks and co-founder Robert Hazan, who are both from New York originally, say they had always wanted to bring the Aussie chain "home" to the US.
“We both grew up in New York and it’s always been our dream to bring the brand back to the U.S. We have looked at sites all over the U.S. for a number of years, and we were really particular about it because we knew our first restaurant in the U.S. had to be special,” says Steven Marks.
“We chose Naperville because of the community. We kept hearing about this city, which is ranked as one of the best places to live in the U.S. and the moment we arrived here and saw the site, we knew this was where our first U.S. restaurant had to be.
"We intend on opening hundreds, if not thousands of GYG locations across the U.S. and, while this won’t be our last, I want our very first in Naperville to be the one everyone knows about and visits."
In 2018, Guzman y Gomez secured a $44 million investment from TDM Growth Partners to support the U.S. expansion.
But the real story for us at least is the series of photos the company has chosen to launch the brand in Chicago. For some reason they have opted for a Midwestern noir aesthetic a lá "Fargo" – which we have no choice but to respect.
Check the photos below – if only for the somewhat dislocating experience of seeing the distinctive Guzman yellow in a plainly American landscape:
The Naperville store opens on Thursday, January 16, 2020 with hours of operation from 6am to 10pm, seven days a week.
In September last year, Guzman y Gomez announced its first "100% clean food" menu.