The Habit Burger Grill, the casual eatery that arrived on the fast-food scene in Santa Barbara in 1969, is expected to open its latest location in Hermosa Beach by the end of March.

The Hermosa Beach store, located at 719 Pier Ave., will join nearly 270 locations in 13 states. Other South Bay restaurants include Torrance, El Segundo and Rolling Hills.

The burger joint moved its headquarters to Irvine in 2009, the same time Russell Bendel, its chief executive officer came on board.

The Habit Burger Grill was recently acquired by Taco Bell’s parent company Yum Brands for approximately $375 million at $14 a share.

The Habit and Louisville, Kentucky-based Yum Brands made a joint announcement of the acquisition on Jan. 6.

Yum Brands also owns KFC, based in Louisville, as well as Pizza Hut and WingStreet, both based in Texas.

The Habit chain is known for its grilled hamburgers but has unique items on its menu, including sweet potato fries, tempura green beans, and Peach Ginger Nectar Juice as an alternative to carbonated soft drinks. It recently began serving sauteed brussels sprouts for a limited time.

The Habit replaces the Hermosa Beach Fish Shop, which closed last October.

In a statement when the location closed, part-owner and KTLA Meteorologist Vera Jimenez said after more than five years in business that the time had come to close shop. No specific reason was given then why the owners decided to close.

—Fielding Buck contributed

Contact this reporter at mhixon@tbrnews.com or on Twitter @michaeljhixon.com.

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