Asheville is a city of quality independent restaurants and a locally-focused spirit that cannot be broken by any national franchise…except perhaps Chipotle Mexican Grill.
Founded in Colorado in 1993, Chipotle quickly grew into an international chain of more than 2,000 locations with a staff of more than 45,000 employees. But when in 2012, when Asheville was still barren of its own burrito-slinging fast-casual restaurant, angry residents took up arms in the one place where their voice was sure to be heard: the Bring Chipotle to Asheville Facebook page.
Within 18 months, the Asheville Citizen-Times confirmed the area’s first Chipotle for Hendersonville Road in South Asheville. For the last two years, that location has remained Asheville’s only Chipotle restaurant. But recently, local news sources confirmed two new Chipotle locations coming to town.
In April 2016, WLOS News 13 reported on the redevelopment of the former Robert Auto Sales location on Patton Avenue in West Asheville. Located directly across from the plaza with El Que Pasa Mexican restaurant, the new construction will contain three businesses: Chipotle, Starbucks, and Stanton Optical. Construction is currently in progress.
In October, local news blog Ashvegas reported on a potential new shopping center in east Asheville. Called The Peaks, the center is planned for the current site of Beaucatcher Cinemas at the intersection of Tunnel and South Tunnel Roads. Plans presented for initial review at the Asheville Technical Review Committee meeting on October 17 showed that the redeveloped site will include Chipotle and Panera Bread restaurants, as well as several new retail spaces.
This is great news for burrito lovers who don’t have the time to brave the traffic around Gerber Village just to get their carnitas fix. But at least for the coming few weeks, residents will have to make due with a singular Chipotle location and a dozen independent taco and burrito restaurants in Asheville.
— Beverly-Hanks WNC (@beverlyhanks) December 6, 2016