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Chipotle to bring locally grown flavor to Thayer

Metro Editor
Monday, July 26, 2010

After one false alarm, Chipotle plans to begin selling its locally-grown burritos across from the Brown Bookstore in November.

The competition for Mexican food on campus is about to spice up.

Chipotle Mexican Grill is set to open a Thayer Street location around November, said Chris Arnold, public relations director for the company.

The restaurant will move into the space previously occupied by Roba Dolce on the corner of Angell and Thayer streets.

The new location will be the third Mexican-style eatery on the short stretch of Thayer Street nearest campus — joining Gordito Burrito and Baja’s. But Arnold said that because of its commitment to locally grown produce and high-quality ingredients, the “nature of competition is not all that relevant.”

Chipotle is the only national restaurant chain to maintain a strong commitment to serving locally grown produce — a philosophy that the company has deemed “Food With Integrity,” he said.

“What people will see different in Chipotle than in other restaurants is a very strong commitment to food and food quality,” Arnold added.

Though the menu will be the same as in other locations, there “will certainly be some outreach for college students,” Arnold said. “Students are good, loyal customers for us all over the country.”

The national chain — which planned to open a location at the corner of Thayer Street and Euclid Avenue before controversy over zoning permits led it to call off the project — will most likely be welcomed by the Brown community, but some students remain skeptical as to the quality of the product.

“The whole thing is that they are massive burritos and they are pretty cheap,” said Jess Daniels ’12, a member of the Sustainable Food Initiative. “I don’t know if I would say it was healthy,” but “it’s cool that it’s quick food with ingredients you can recognize.”

Currently, the closest Chipotle location to campus is in Cranston, R.I., just over five miles from campus.

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