What in the world could fill the 1,000's of grumbles coming from the empty stomachs of Duluthian's for years now? Well. It's a place we're pretty sure every Duluthian has been wishing, hoping, praying, and even trying to persuade with money, to open in the area. Yes. This is the post. Yes. Chipotle has finally put Duluth on their expansion map. We've been hearing rumors for the last couple of years that Chipotle was planning to enter the Duluth market with a location near the Miller Hill Mall. That seems to be the safest area for a new restaurant or retailer to enter the Duluth market we've all learned in the past few years. It's often said that whenever a Noodles and Company opens up, a Panera Bread and Chipotle are soon to follow. It's like they are a set of triplets, obviously not identical, rather fraternal... if that's even possible in the world of food. Noodles opened its first Duluth location last year, with Panera Bread officially announcing its first Duluth location this past spring (which is under construction right now), and if the timing is right (which we feel that this might be for real this time) Chipotle should be announcing something within the next two months. On a side note pertaining to Noodles and Company... they're doing well. As in extremely well. As in one of the top performing locations in the country. As in we are beginning to hear talks of another location opening in the area. What's better than one Noodles? Two. Duh.
But back to the deliciousness of Chipotle. Where, oh where, could this jewel of an eatery be going? We've basically heard every possible location in the city over the past few years. From West Duluth to East Duluth, Canal Park to Superior Street, the airport area, to even the food court. Over time we've been able to come in close contact with various sources... and our most recent source maybe the most verified relayer of Chipotle information that we have ever encountered. So you probably are curious as to where this is going? "Cut to the chase already" is probably what you're chanting. Calm down... and let your eyes feast on the words below.
Sources are beginning to confirm that Chipotle plans to open at the Miller Hill Mall in late 2014 / early 2015. What is surprising about this news is that they are not planning on opening in the most logical spot. The spot we're referring to is the vacant space next to Noodles and Company. No, apparently the mall still is in negotiations on a lease for that space (we're not sure if it's still a Mongolian Grill joint as they had originally spoken of). Instead Chipotle wants a 100% custom built location, which probably makes sense as Duluthians have been waiting what seems to be a lifetime for the mexican grill chain to make its way north. After all, they do have over 40 locations in Minnesota. It's about time they share the love. What sources are saying is that Chipotle will soon be presenting plans to the Duluth Planning Commission for a new free standing building to built in the front parking lot of the Miller Hill Mall. Sources have said that they location would be built in existing parking area to the left of Pioneer Bank.
This is still a developing topic obviously, but we are happy to say that we actually feel quite confident in this news. As with any news (we try to bring you the first retail development news always) there are small chances that something could go wrong. However, the sources we are dealing with are saying that this will be verified in the next two months and an official announcement will come soon.
Great news , right? We think so (and so do our bellies).
It gets better. What our sources also confirmed is that Chipotle really is excited to come to Duluth. As in extremely excited. They know the city will welcome Chipotle with wide open burrito loving arms and that's why they've already started floating plans for a second Duluth location. Can you guess where? Eh, let's just make it one Chipotle post and tell you right now! After what has seemed to be a year of speculation about this site, sources are confirming that Chipotle is eyeing a space within the Shops at Bluestone (the retail component that will be constructed in front of the recently constructed Bluestone Lofts off of Woodland Avenue in 2014/15). The area is a big draw for Chipotle obviously due to the high population of college students, many which come from a place that already has a Chipotle location. So needless to say, they're hungry. The second location's details are a little more fuzzy and have yet to be confirmed. However, we will keep it on our radar and be sure to post whatever updates we can.
As always, we'll make sure to bring the first news on Chipotle whenever we can get the details right here to cdinduluth! Until then... start working on those belly exercises to expand those stomachs.... because behemoth burritos are coming to town.