Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Chipotle to open restaurant on Strip later this semester

Chipotle Mexican Grill is coming to The University of Alabama’s prime spot for retailers and restaurants, the Strip on University Boulevard, near the end of this semester.

Chris Arnold, Chipotle’s communications director, said this new location, which is already being built and is set to open at the end of April or early May, was a logical extension of their company in a region where they do well already.

“We think we’ll do well there,” Arnold said. “We have a long history of restaurants near universities, going back to our very first restaurant adjacent to the University of Denver, and students have always been big fans for us.”

Arnold explained the restaurant’s second location in Tuscaloosa on McFarland Boulevard would remain open.

“Generally speaking, we don’t close restaurants; in almost every market where we operate we have multiple restaurants, and I think we can do fine with a couple within relatively close proximity here, too,” he said.

Arnold said he anticipated the restaurant would accept Bama Cash.

Other restaurants located on the Strip see Chipotle’s arrival as a great opportunity for competition. Julie Galich, director of marketing for Moe’s Southwest Grill, said competition is healthy because it keeps them on their toes.

“For Moe’s, the pattern is if you get by a university it’s really great,” Galich said. “Our demographic really fits in the college atmosphere because I think students really like the high energy.”

She said with this restaurant location they directly serve the community of campus, and Moe’s will continue to do a lot of partnerships with the University.

“We’ve really incorporated within the University,” Galich said. “We do vending at all the sporting events except football games and take Bama Cash at our store.”

In order to stay competitive when Chipotle opens, Galich said Moe’s would probably offer several specials.

“We’ll probably do something big around the time they open,” she said. “In the past we’ve done events like 99 cent burritos or free burritos for a year type thing.”

Most UA students interviewed said they either liked one or the other, not both.

“Moe’s always yells, ‘Welcome to Moe’s!!’” Eric Alsobrook, a junior majoring in political science and communication studies, said. “I wanna feel welcome when eating my burritos.”

Alsobrook explained this greeting made him feel welcome and added to the character of the establishment, but as far as the food goes, he really can’t tell a difference.

“It’s just the little things that sell me on places, I guess,” he said.

Another student, Madeline Johnson, a junior studying fashion design, argued Moe’s has to maintain their overwhelming excitement when customer’s walk through the door to compete with their counterpart.

“I like Chipotle better because the guacamole is so good. It’s worth the extra money,” Johnson said. “Also, my first time I went there, the old manager gave it to me for free.”

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