MIDLOTHIAN — Fuzzy’s Taco Shop is nearing completion on George Hopper Road and the owner is finally ready to announce a grand-opening date.

Residents can look forward to tacos, nachos, beverages and more when Eric Walker opens the doors New Year's Day.

Walker, along with his wife and two teenage children, has lived in Midlothian for the past five years. He has experienced the growth of the city first-hand and wanted to provide a hangout where people can eat and have a good time.

“I am a taco nut. I love tacos, and I love the food business and hospitality side of it. We spent a long time looking at different franchise opportunities on what we might do, and after looking at all of them, Fuzzy’s was the best and seemed to make the most sense for us.”

Walker currently owns the Fuzzy’s Taco Shop in Granbury and is already in the midst of establishing another shop in Cleburne.

What sticks out to Walker the most about the Fuzzy’s franchise is the freshness of the ingredients and that no two Fuzzy’s are identical.

“The reason why I chose Fuzzy’s is because if you look at the franchise, the food that they sell aren’t frozen products. We have people prepping fresh food at 5:30 in the morning from the guacamole to the chopped brisket that’s cooked on site.”

When it comes to making the building unique to Midlothian, Walker has incorporated students in the area to leave their mark.

“The interior of the building is actually going to be painted by the art students from the high school — both Heritage and Midlothian will be painting in there. We’ve got a mural, but we are trying to do a graffiti wall. That will be a nice, unique tie-in,” he said.

Usually, when a Fuzzy’s opens, it will host a VIP opening where guests are brought in by invitation only. During this time, the staff is trained and has the opportunity to get up to speed before opening to the public.

But these VIP opening days will be unique to Midlothian as Walker is eager to start giving back to the community. He is planning two days to raise funds for a local charity and another to recognize teachers in the area. He said donations and proceeds from those two nights would be given to a local charity. The foundation has not been decided on yet.

The VIP openings are tentatively scheduled on Dec. 28 and 29. A soft opening is planned for Dec. 31 while the grand opening is on New Year's Day.

“It should be a fun spot and just like any other business in town, we’ll have some bumps and hiccups when we open but we are going to do our best to make sure to be over prepared and that we do a good job on day one,” he said.

The shop will have an indoor and patio areas to dine-in, as well as a to-go option. Soon after the shop is in full swing, the location will provide online ordering. The menu will be standard, but patrons will have 20 draft beers to decide from as well as a series of margarita flavors.

Walker is planning on selling domestic beers as well as some more local brews from Deep Ellum, Ft. Worth and Legal Draft out of Arlington. He also mentioned there will be a full-service, stand-alone bar.

A patio area will be equipped with heaters for the wintertime and will be covered entirely.

Walker said, “We are really trying to make it a place where people can go out and have fun. We will do a lot of programming there with a karaoke night, live music, a family atmosphere out there.”

He added that there would be games like corn hole and ring toss.

After reflecting on the obstacles to building the taco shop, Walker said, “I’m excited and it’s hard to believe that it’s actually here because it’s taken so long. I’ve got a really great manager that I’ve known for a long time that will run the store, and his wife has ties to Midlothian from long ago, so they’ve been apart of the community.”

He added, “Hopefully everybody will support us and realize that this isn’t just one big franchise but this is my family who lives in Midlothian and this is our place. We want to be proud of it and take care of everybody who comes in.”

For more information, like Fuzzy's Taco Shop in Midlothian Facebook page. Hiring information is linked on their Facebook page.