The Mexican/American fast-food chain was started in Riverside by an early Del Taco cohort — Dick Naugle — back in 1970.
However, Naugle sold the three-restaurant chain in 1979 to Harold Butler, the founder of Denny’s, and Butler grew it to 225 restaurants, with several in the Inland Empire.
The chain was sold again in 1986 and then in 1988 was merged with Del Taco, when businessman Aniwar Soliman purchased both chains.
The majority of the Naugles restaurants were converted to Del Tacos shortly afterward, although some of the Naugles items lived on by making their way onto Del Taco’s menu.
By 1995, the remaining restaurants had either closed or became Del Tacos.
Ziebarth kept on his mission to resurrect Naugles, eventually registering the Naugles trademark in 2010.
Del Taco appealed the registration, but in March of this year Ziebarth won a judgment from the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.
Oon July 26, the “Naugles Corporate Test Kitchen” opened in Fountain Valley.
So many people showed up for the soft opening that the test kitchen had to close temporarily.
For those who want to satisfy their combo cup or Naugles meat and cheese burrito fix, it’s currently open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.
The test kitchen is at 18471 Mt. Langley St.