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New Wahoo’s location opens in Huntington Beach

The new restaurant is the surf lifestyle chain's largest location yet

by Mackenna WaterhousePublished: May 30, 2012 01:45 PM

The new restaurant's bar area
Brothers Wing Lam, Ed Lee and Mingo Lee were in Huntington Beach last week to celebrate the opening of their restaurant chain’s newest location, the largest Wahoo’s Fish Taco restaurant yet.

The chain, started in 1988 by the three brothers, has grown to more than 50 locations serving Mexican, Brazilian and Asian-inspired meals. The new Huntington Beach location is the largest restaurant the company has opened, with two outdoor patios, a large dining room and a bar that will specialize in tequila drinks. It’s set to open June 1.

With one location already in downtown Huntington Beach, the new restaurant is meant to open up the Wahoo’s experience to the rest of the city.

“We wanted Wahoo’s to not just be somewhere to go on the weekends but also Monday through Friday,” said Mingo Lee, CEO and founder.

The branch owner, Tim Orbe, said the coastal look and feel of the new restaurant match the roots of the company. The restaurant features the classic blue, skateboard-covered walls of Wahoo’s with a colorful mosaic above the new Vizio Beach Bar.

Ellen Orbe, Tim Orbe’s daughter and a recent graduate of California Polytechnic San Louis Obispo, will operate the restaurant. After starting work at the company in 2004 as a caterer, Orbe said the transition feels natural for her.  

“It took a lot of opening and closing shifts and no days off to get here,” said Ellen

Lee said he’s pleased with the new location but that he never expected the chain to grow so large.

“Wahoo’s had a really simple plan in the beginning. It was three guys who wanted to have a job and be able to surf, and it grew from there,” Lee said.

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