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By Miriam Raftery
June 8, 2024 (San Diego) – The company that made “fish tacos” a household phrase at its fast-casual restaurants and airport outlets across the nation now finds itself underwater financially. Rubio’s Coastal Grill, headquartered in Carlsbad, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after closing 48 of its California locations, with 13 in San Diego County, including El Cajon’s Parkway Plaza in East County.
Rubio’s Restaurants, parent company of the fast-casual chain, announced it hopes to sell the business founded in 1983, and indicated it will continue operating the remaining 86 locations in California, Arizona and Nevada.

This is the second time the company has filed for bankruptcy. The first, in 2020, was due to the COVID-pandemic. This time, California’s minimum wage hike for fast food workers to $20 an hour starting in April has added to the company’s financial woes, ABC 10 News reports.
Nicholas Rubin, chief restructuring officer at Rubio’s Coastal Grill, says the company has a “strong and loyal” customer base. But he adds, "Despite the company's best efforts to right-size the company, the continued challenging economic conditions have negatively impacted its ability to meet the demands of its debt burden. The company believes the best path forward for Rubio’s is through a court-supervised sale process that will position the brand for long-term success to grow and flourish,” Fox 5 reports.

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I proof-read this article. I used your lead to check other media reports; you're right K. George, it's 48. That sounds a lot more realistic. Thanks for the catch!