Ruiz approached the owner at the construction site, asked for an application, and was hired shortly after to help market the restaurant.
“I was out on Sundays at 8 in the morning passing out fliers; I was out on the side of the street waving [‘We’re open’] signs,” Ruiz said. “I’ve kind of done a little bit of everything.”
Within a few months, Ruiz said he was bartending and training new staff—and watched when his boss sold the restaurant less than a year later for $1.7 million.
Once Ruiz realized he had the knowledge and interest in running a restaurant, he decided he would pursue it.
When considering what type of restaurant to open, Ruiz said he wanted to create an environment where people would gather for both celebrations and sporting events. Ruiz also wanted to create a culinary experience that would surprise his diners. He said he believes many people go to sports bars for the atmosphere rather than the food.
“The food is not very good in most sports bars, [and that] left a big opening to impress people,” Ruiz said.
He also wanted to create fusion dishes that would allow his patrons to explore a variety of cuisines, including southern comfort food, Tex-Mex, and some Asian influences. Foxiis’ menu has items from chicken waffles and ahi tuna nachos to satay skewers.
“Our menu is much more extensive than the traditional sports bar,” he said.
Although Ruiz realizes he may be able to sell a restaurant for a small fortune like his old boss, said he is not sure if he would ever sell Foxiis.
“I’ve been working on [it] for many years. It’s kind of one of those things where it becomes your baby,” he said.
Foxiis Restaurant & Grill
301 E. Virginia St., Ste. 103, McKinney
Hours: Mon.-Wed. 11a.m.-10 p.m., Thu. 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-midnight, Sun. 11 a.m.-10 p.m.