Costa Mesa restaurant chain El Pollo Loco has filed preliminary plans with the City of Visalia to open a location on Mooney Blvd.The popular fast food chain that offers grilled marinated chicken and other Mexican foods filed a plan to locate a store just north of the new BevMo in front of the new WalMart on South Mooney.
El Pollo Loco would buy the vacant lot on Mooney from Cal Trans who bought the land to widen Mooney some years ago.
Juan Francisco Ochoa started the restaurant in Guasave, Sinaloa, Mexico, in 1975. By 1979, the chain had expanded throughout northern Mexico. In 1980, its first U.S. restaurant opened in Los Angeles, California, at 503 Alvarado Street, near Sixth Street. In 1983, the American restaurants in the chain were acquired by Denny’s, with an agreement that the Ochoa family would continue to operate the restaurants in Mexico. American Securities Capital Partners acquired El Pollo Loco in 1999 and sold it to current owner Trimaran Capital Partners in 2005.
In the U.S., the El Pollo Loco chain operates in Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Texas, California, and Illinois.