Good food, good times on the menu at Bubakoo’s Burritos

by Dan Holland

When Lee and Kristen Metcalf earned culinary arts management degrees a number of years ago, they both dreamed of one day opening up their own business. The dream became a reality when the couple opened a Bubakoo’s Burritos location on Oct. 6 at 4101 E. Royalton Rd.

Customer response has been overwhelming so far, according to Kristen.

“The response has been great, and I’m so thankful that people have been patient, as we’ve had lines out the door at times,” she said. “Everyone seems to love it, and we already have a lot of regulars. We hope to eventually open more than just this one location; we hope to open several more in the area.”

The location, which is the 91st Bubakoo’s Burritos to open nationwide, is the first in Northeast Ohio. Ample interior space, a location near I-77 and an existing outdoor patio were the top selling points in choosing the location for the couple, who live in Stow with their three children, ages 6, 8 and 10.

“Northeast Ohio has a hometown feel to it,” said Kristen. “In driving through Broadview Heights, it felt a lot like Stow, and it isn’t that far for us; right off the highway. We have people coming from all over greater Cleveland just because it’s so easy to get to. The location sold us.”

The new business counts more than 20 employees and is always looking to add more, she said.

“We really have a great crew here,” said Kristen. “Most of them have been here since day one; right after they completed training with corporate. They’ve all put in so many hours, and they’ve been great, but we can always use more.”

Best-selling menu items include the crispy chicken bacon sriracha ranch quesadilla, the Nashville hot burrito and the hibachi steak and shrimp burrito. Other popular choices include chicken wings, the burritodilla and fried Oreos.

The menu options, service, and atmosphere are what make the business a popular choice, according to Kristen. Patrons can choose to dine in, utilize a quick pick-up counter service for online orders or use a number of popular food delivery services.

“It’s great food in a great environment,” she said. “When you walk in, it changes your day. Even if you’re having your worst day ever, you just have to smile when you walk in here – It can be a day changer and mood booster.”

The vibe and feel of the coastal New Jersey-based franchise carries through to all locations, said Kristen.

“Whenever you walk into a Bubakoo’s, it should look and feel like the last one you were in,” she said. “We have the Bubakoo’s TVs playing all the time with X-sports showing, along with the surf and skate graphics. It’s a vibe, and that’s what we stress to our employees; that we’re here to have fun. It’s all about being together and making some great food.”

The Broadview Heights Bubakoo’s Burritos location specializes in
the crispy chicken bacon sriracha ranch quesadilla, the hibachi
steak and shrimp burrito and more. Photo by D. Holland.