Fuddruckers was once one of Tucson's most popular burger joints. It closed on Wednesday after struggling to competing in a now crowded Tucson burger market.  

Tucson's lone Fuddruckers restaurant closed Wednesday afternoon, ending a 30-plus-year run here.

The restaurant at 6118 E. Speedway posted a sign on the door saying it was closing at 3 p.m. Aug. 8. An employee who answered the restaurant's phone Thursday morning said the sign was the first they were told of the move. Sixteen mostly full-time employees were affected by the closing.  

Fuddruckers' closing, the second Tucson restaurant to close this week, was not entirely surprising. 

There used to be a time in Tucson when Fuddruckers, with its crispy and fluffly housemade toasted buns, burgers cooked to order and a veritable salad bar of burger toppings, was the only so-called gourmet burger game in town.  

That started to change around 2007, when Sam Fox introduced his gourmet Zinburger concept. National chains from Smashburger, Culver's and Freddy's to In-N-Out Burger and Five Guys made a beeline for our attention, opening restaurants in every area of town at a mad pace.

The newest entrant Habit Burger arrived late last year and already has two Tucson locations — 4874 S. Landing Way on Tucson's south side; and 5721 E. Broadway.

In the last few years, Fuddruckers started to lose its relevance in an overcrowded market. Employees said business had been in a steady decline leading up to Wednesday's closing.

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Contact reporter Cathalena E. Burch at cburch@tucson.com or 573-4642. On Twitter @Starburch