WARNER ROBINS, Ga. — A new fast-casual Tex Mex restaurant is now open in Warner Robins and ready to serve customers.
Baja Fresh is a Mexican-inspired chain restaurant that was founded in California in 1990, according to its website.
A new franchise location just opened in Warner Robins at 810 Georgia 96 on Monday.
Carlo Lacombe says opening day went 'fantastic.' He and his wife, Danika, are the owners of the Warner Robins franchise location.
They also own Smallcakes on Russell Parkway.
"We got killed. We weren't prepared for it but we made do and we're better prepared today," Carlo said.
There are already two Baja Fresh locations in Atlanta, but the Warner Robins restaurant is the first in Central Georgia.
"It's also the first one ever — in the nation, in the world — with a drive-thru," Carlo said.
Carlo got out of being active duty military a few months ago after 16 years and recently went into the Air Force Reserve. He says he knows that many people in the area are in the military and don't have time to stop by and sit down to have lunch.
That's why he says having a drive-thru was a requirement he listed before signing with the brand.
"I knew if I wanted to be competitive in this area that we needed to have a drive-thru," he said.
The website says the restaurant doesn't use any canned products, all of the food is prepared by hand, and there are no microwaves or freezers inside.
"Our walk-in cooler is massive. You could probably put a full bedroom in there because of all the prep work we have to do," Carlo said.
Carlo says when folks visit Baja Fresh, they should try the fish tacos or the Steak Diablo Burrito.
"It's got a bit of a kick to it and I love the steak. The marinade is phenomenal," he said.
The restaurant opened its doors to customers who want to dine-in, but Carlo says they've taken out some tables and are seating people further away from each other to accommodate for the pandemic.
Carlo says they usually have a buffet-style never-ending salsa bar where chips and salsa are always free, but due to COVID-19, it is currently closed.
"We're sanitizing all of our little ticket numbers that people go sit down with. Continually going out and wiping down everything," he said.
Baja Fresh is open Monday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
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