Chipotle Mexican Grill 2013Rumors of a Chipotle restaurant coming to Asheville have been running 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 Asheville:

Actually, the word through the grapevine is that the Chick-Fil-A going up by the Harris Teeter raised a big stink about having a competing chicken restaurant. The Chipotle had to move locations. It’s now going up across from the Barnes & Noble, over by the new Whole Foods that’s being built.

As the commenter says, there’s a new Whole Foods grocery store under construction on Tunnel Road across from the Asheville Mall, on the former site of a Kmart store. There will be other new stores moving into the complex. We’ll have to keep an eye on this. I will note that, for the record, the Chipotle corporate Twitter account handler recently answered a query about plans for an Asheville restaurant by saying there were no such plans. Whole Foods background here.

Kmart demolition photos.




  1. Pingback: Chipotle coming to Hendersonville Road in South Asheville

  2. NFB is spot on. Asheville has this strange habit of demonizing chains except when they are embracing them. Saying they don’t want chains downtown except for chains somehow deemed ‘ok’.

  3. weavervilleman says:

    they heard wrong, it isnt Chipotle but its Neo Burrito

  4. Asheville’s a funny place. We hate chains but please give us a Chipolte, a Nordstom, and a Costco.

    We urge people to shop at local businesses but hey, when Trader Joe’s comes to town and displaces THREE of them we welcome a chain with open arms.

    Chains downtown are bad, unless they are Mellow Mushroom, Marble Slab, Mast General Store, Jimmy Johns…

    • Asheville is large. It contains multitudes.

      • Yeah, I know. You’re right — Asheville contains a large swath of people with differing views on the idea of chains and my original post does paint with a broad brush.

        At the same time I think there is some noticeable overlap between people who often gripe about chains and the need to support local businesses who were very excited to have Trader Joe’s come to town and who gave the fact that it was displacing three locally owned businesses the sound of crickets. A lot of them are also cheering Chipolte, and clamoring for a Costco and a Nordstrom.

    • Gimmee a friggin break. Do you think anyone but a downtown merchant really gives a crap? Nowadays, people would rather see something than nothing. The tourists will take over Asheville eventually and tourists like Chipotle. And Mellow Mushroom. And Mast. Urban Outfitters? Remember what that replaced….a CVS.
      What are the THREE mom&pops you refer to?

      • Actually, Urban Outfitters went into a vacant building. CVS had closed long before.

      • They are probably talking about New York Fashions, the dry cleaners, and maybe the Liberty Tax place that rented out the Merrimon/Chestnut building that used to be at the TJ location.

        I mean… yeah, they were small local businesses. But as far as number of jobs and tax $$ produced Trader Joe’s probably beats all of those combined. New York Fashions had some great sweatpants though.

    • This seems to be really challenging for some people to grasp, but we are a city of over 80,000 people in a county of over two hundred thousand people . . . believe it or not, there can be more than one overlapping opinion in a group that large! Trying to hunt for “consistency” in the randomly-sampled opinions of a giant group of people is about the most asinine pastime I can imagine.

  5. They’re actually a pretty interesting company. Made a deal with McDevil and then bought themselves back to independent.

  6. Remember hater hipsters they started in Denver as a small business trying to make it. I was lucky enough to eat there.

  7. Please let it be true!!!!

  8. Yup…already seen the plans…stay tuned

    • If it’s true then Neo Burrito got booted from the Whole Foods Plaza: “Neo Burrito will become one of the tenants in the Whole Foods-anchored shopping center that’s under development on Tunnel Road. Yancey hopes for future neighborly relations with the natural foods chain. “We have a lot of the same values as far as how we treat our customers,” he says. “We think the demographic we’re looking for is very similar to Whole Foods.”” (

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