Rumor control: Chipotle Mexican Grill coming to Merrimon Ave in Asheville


Rumor has it that Chipotle Mexican Grill is planning to build a restaurant on the new Harris Teeter site under construction on Merrimon Avenue. I’m working on tracking this down – right now this is unconfirmed rumor.

Harris Teeter is building a big new store at the intersection of Merrimon Avenue and Chestnut Street. The Harris Teeter footprint is big enough for two other occupants. One is a Chick-fil-A drive-through.

Chipotle, known for tasty tacos and burritos, is based in Denver and recently reported fourth quarter 2012 results, which included the fact that the company opened 60 new stores and had $699 million in revenue.

There’s a small group of “Bring Chipotle to Asheville” fans on Facebook, but there’s no update on possible plans.


Rumor control: Reddit Asheville commenter says Chipotle coming to Tunnel Road November 11, 2013 - 4:32 pm

[…] hot and heavy for more than a year now. First Chipotle was rumored to be looking downtown. Then Chipotle was rumored to be looking at Merrimon Avenue. Now here’s the latest, posted at Reddit […]

Jane August 27, 2013 - 9:21 pm

Don’t forget, many “chains” are owned by local Ashevillians! “Chain” does not always mean corporate-owned. (Chipotles are all corporate owned, but they’re still super awesome and I’ll always support them!) But PLEASE don’t stay away from franchise or chain restaurants, because it may be your neighbor that owns it or your friend that works there!

Burrito Lover July 20, 2013 - 5:18 pm

I’m not particularly anti-chain. But Urban Burrito has wayyy better food than Chipotle! When I am away from Asheville, and I eat at Chipotle, I always sigh and wish I could be back here. Urban Burrito is hands down the greatest burrito on earth, at least for this vegetarian!

mike July 20, 2013 - 1:19 am

My wife and I love Chipotle. We go every chance we get when we go to another city. We would be over the moon to have one so close to us.

Em February 25, 2013 - 10:52 pm

I am totally on board with Chipotle moving down the road from me, good food and good ethical standards. Chick-fil-a on the other hand…

CharlieAltman February 25, 2013 - 10:05 pm

I always support local over chain when I can, but right now we have a gap in our burrito sector. Let’s be honest, while it’s not bad, Urban Burrito ain’t that great either. I’m happy to see they’ve been expanding their menus and trying new things, but their base product (the burrito) is just kind of bland. I have also unfortunately never had a completely positive experience at Mamacitas (something always disappoints me, whether it’s the rice is bad, or they’re out of something or I had forgotten that their chipotle chicken is awful and made the mistake of trying it again). I’ll be honest with you, I’ve never tried Neo, but it’s really neither here nor there at this point.

While it is a chain, it’s a chain who’s food ethics fall in line with the general food ethos of Asheville. It’s also fucking delicious. Chain is not a four letter word, and people who refuse to eat somewhere just because they’ve been successful enough to branch out are basically saying, “Hey 12 Bones, I HOPE YOU’RE NEVER SUCCESSFUL ENOUGH TO LEAVE THE ASHEVILLE AREA, AND I WILL TURN ON YOU IN AN INSTANT IF YOU EVEN DARE TO TRY!” So to all the people who are against Chipotle coming in solely because it’s not a “local” restaurant, shut the fuck up, hop back on your fixie and cry in a PBR over at Mamacita’s. If you don’t want to eat there, then please don’t, as there will already be enough people in line making me wait to get to my cilantro-lime bowl of heaven.

Mountaingoat January 22, 2013 - 7:08 pm

Yay Chipolte. Good, yes. Love the alternative to fried fast food!
Please no ChicFilA. I live near there and the roads just can’t handle it.

Nate January 23, 2013 - 7:24 am

There are already multiple Chic-Fil-A outlets in and around Asheville … why would an additional one on Merrimon cause more traffic than the *only* area location of a popular chain like Chipotle?

Or was that a “No Fatties” joke and I just missed it?

Chicken Man January 21, 2013 - 12:16 pm

Sorry bubba. Not in this state you don’t! Love me some waffle fries.

jabob January 21, 2013 - 7:10 am

do ashevillians eat and poop more than they used to with the abundance of restaurants and burrito places in town?

FDR January 20, 2013 - 6:14 pm

Everything starts off as a locally owned business. Why hate them for being successful. I ate at Chipotle when they only had two of them. It was awesome then and is awesome now. Asheville eateries take us for granted and yes a dirty bathroom means dirty food. End of discussion.

Kim Roney January 20, 2013 - 2:43 pm

From my limited knowledge, isn’t Chipotle a subsidiary of MacDonalds? Pretty sure that other regional chains mentioned in this blog are not.

Nate January 20, 2013 - 4:57 pm

McDonald’s sold their stake in Chipotle back in 2006, making a pretty enormous profit. They are not currently involved in the company in any way, as far as I can tell.

Lisa January 20, 2013 - 1:45 pm

i am excited about this. by that i mean the chipotle part. they have great tasting food, and it’s good quality.

NFB January 20, 2013 - 10:36 am

Welcome to Asheville where we HATE chains but please give us a Trader Joe’s, a Chipolte, a Costco, and a Nordstrom.

Keep chains away from downtown except for Mellow Mushroom, Doc Chey’s, and Marble Slab.

Always support locally own businesses except for the THREE that got displaced by Trader Joe’s.

Nate January 20, 2013 - 4:53 pm

I am Asheville, I am large, I contain multitudes.

Your first problem is trying to determine what a diverse city of over 80,000 “is thinking” or feeling about anything. Have fun on your endless, pointless, always successful Hypocrisy Hunt, though.

NFB January 20, 2013 - 7:04 pm

I was thinking more along the terms of inconsistent but “hypocrisy” works, I guess.

Yeah, among 80.000 people you’ll find differing opinions on the topic. I just find it interesting that when the local blogs and letters to the editor light up with outrage about this or that chain moving in and hurting locally owned businesses suddenly turn to crickets when a chain moves in and displaces three locally own businesses.

The outrage isn’t about chains, it is about specific chains. Why can’t these same voices of outrage state this?

Christine January 20, 2013 - 10:18 am

So excited if this is true! I love Chipotle food and love their business practices. I love Mamacitas too but parking is often too difficult to bother, and while Neo & Urban may be locally owned the food is nasty and the restaurants are filthy. I don’t care who owns them, nasty wont get my business. Welcome Chipotle!

Sidney January 20, 2013 - 8:59 am

Let’s start a protest to keep Chick fil A out of our city. Any company that publicly hates gays should not be welcome. Why would we allow these christian terrorists to infiltrate our wonderful town?

Sidney January 20, 2013 - 9:02 am

By the way, Support your local restaurants. Mamacitas, Neo and Urban Burrito. Not some big conglomerate chain.

Pete January 20, 2013 - 9:34 am

Protest this! Chick-fi-A is already in this town, and they don’t publicly hate gays. They publicly support traditional marriage. Eat wherever you want and I’ll do the same. Ok?

Sidney January 21, 2013 - 8:46 am

You get married, let me get married. I am all about coexistence. What about you and your chicken? OK?

Yikes Really January 22, 2013 - 9:07 am

If you wan to protest you need to go to the city council meeting tonight (Tuesday) 5 pm City Hall first floor, you will have 2 minutes to tell them why you don’t want it here. I believe, the final vote is tonight. You can write Garland Hughes, developer, what you think at The clock is ticking, I went to the Planning and Zoning Committee meeting last month and 4 people showed up to speak up against it. The clock is ticking…

RJD January 19, 2013 - 8:37 pm

I would love Chipotle to come to Asheville. This is one of the worst locations, for me anyway. Not close to my home and Merrimon Avenue is about as annoying as it gets.

But NOTHING will keep me away from Chipotle!

Sarah January 19, 2013 - 6:58 pm

As far as chains go, I could be on board with a Chipotle. Chipotle actually has pretty good standards when it comes to quality ingredients and animal treatment.

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