The company was founded in 1973 by Ralph Rubio and his father, Ray, inspired by fish tacos in Mexico, as a walk-up taco shack. Duke said the restaurant will celebrate the opening by hosting a VIP party, choosing a local nonprofit to raise funds for that night. According to Duke, the restaurant will also celebrate with a company tradition. “The first 100 guests get free meals for a year,” Duke said. “It is a total crack-up to watch these people line up. They do it the night before with beds and cots and sleeping bags and all that.” Other spaces in the shopping center are still under construction while the first business to open there, LA Fitness, began accepting customers in October. They will also hold a grand opening in December. Round Table Pizza, Panda Express, and Fresh and Easy, the American version of British Tesco Supermarkets, have all confirmed that they will move into the complex. A Kmart once stood at the site, but it closed and its building was torn down four years ago. “Close to four years, the center has been inactive,” Mayor Ron Beilke said. “They tore down that Kmart pretty immediately because they did not want to create an eyesore in the city.” According to Beilke, who owns a nearby Wienerschnitzel, the new building and restaurants should increase business for those already in the area by increasing foot traffic. “The more, the better,” Beilke said. “That area, that corridor is becoming a place where people are going to come and shop and eat and exercise. I welcome the addition to the neighborhood.” [email protected] (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3029160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREStriving toward a more perfect me: Doug McIntyre “It goes pretty quick,” Duke said. “Over the next six weeks, we will be building out the whole restaurant.” According to Duke, Rubio’s is a “fast-casual” restaurant, a hybrid between fast food and sit-down. The new location will employ about 30 local workers, to be hired near the end of the month, Duke said. Rubio’s has more than 170 locations. The nearest eatery to the planned site in Pico Rivera is five miles away, in Downey. Rubio’s also owns locations in Cerritos and La Habra. PICO RIVERA – After four years of vacancy and a long road of construction and revitalization, another business has been approved for the shopping center at Washington and Rosemead boulevards. Rubio’s Fresh Mexican Grill is expected to open in late December or early January at 8949 Washington Blvd., in the Pico Rivera Marketplace, the same complex as the newly opened LA Fitness. Rubio’s is a casual sit-down restaurant with locations in Arizona, Nevada and California. “We’re very happy with the tenants that are coming in there,” Director of Community Development Jeff Brauckmann said. “They provide a variety of different quality options for our citizens.” The new restaurant received final approval to sell beer and wine at the location last week from the Pico Rivera Planning Commission, and company spokeswoman Linda Duke said construction inside the already-completed 2,600-square-foot building will begin immediately.