Chipotle opens first burrito restaurant in Four Corners

Restaurant will hire up to 6 more employees

Megan Petersen
Farmington Daily Times
  • The restaurant will have the standard Chipotle menu, with the exception of margaritas.
  • Chipotle can seat approximately 80 customers indoors and has a patio.
  • Before the new location opened, the closest Chipotle was in Albuquerque.
Chloe Larrymendy, left, and Vana John prepare an order for a customer on Wednesday at Chipotle in Farmington.

FARMINGTON — The Chipotle Mexican Grill has come to the Four Corners.

The popular fast-food restaurant, best known for its burritos, will open Thursday in the Shops @ Main at 4906 E. Main St. in Farmington. The restaurant is open from 10:45 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

“Our grand opening is tomorrow,” the restaurant’s general manager, Sergio Santillanes, said during a soft opening today. “We don’t have anything special set up — we’re just going to open up the doors, let everybody in and roll some burritos for everybody.”

The restaurant is located in the Shops @ Main, a new building in the Target parking lot in Farmington. Chipotle spokeswoman Quinn Kelsey said the restaurant space is approximately 2,000 square feet, and Santillanes said there is indoor seating for about 80 customers, as well as additional outside seating on the restaurant’s front patio.

The restaurant features an open layout, where the kitchen is open and customers can see all the way to the back of the kitchen, Santillanes said.

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“In (other Chipotle restaurants), the back of the house has been divided from the front, whereas here you can see straight down all the way to the back of the kitchen” from the counter, Santillanes said. “… I like that connection between the customers and their food, and I think with this layout, they’re able to have that 100 percent. It gives the guests the opportunity to see what’s going on in the kitchen.”

Danielle Moberg, right, prepares a meal for customer Bill Elliott, second to right, on Wednesday at Chipotle in Farmington.

Chipotle hired 28 employees in advance of the opening, Santillanes said, and the restaurant will likely hire an additional four to six employees as it gets established in Farmington.

The Farmington location will offer the same menu as most other Chipotle restaurants with the exception of margaritas, though Santillanes said managers are working on getting a liquor license to sell bottled beer.

The restaurant had its soft opening today, with friends and family members of employees invited to the restaurant so the new staff could prepare for Thursday’s opening. Bill Elliot was there and had his first Chipotle experience.

Danielle Moberg prepares tacos on Wednesday at Chipotle in Farmington.

“It’s something new to me,” Elliot said. “I’ve never eaten at Chipotle before, but I’ve always heard about it, and I love Mexican food, so the more Mexican food here, the better.”

Elliot said he works at The Daily Bread, a food assistance program that is part of the People Assisting the Homeless shelter in Farmington, and that Chipotle is partnering with The Daily Bread to donate the restaurant’s leftovers to people in need in the Four Corners.

Cashier Aaliyah Wilson, left, watches as trainers Emmri Tafoya and Santiara Figueroa use the cash register on Wednesday at Chipotle in Farmington.

“I feed the homeless, and they give us their leftovers,” Elliot said, adding that having Chipotle in Farmington “is great for us, especially at work, because we get to actually serve the community for free (and serve) people that are in need.”

Before this week’s opening, the closest Chipotle restaurant was located in Albuquerque, where there are six locations.

Megan Petersen covers business and education for The Daily Times. Reach her at 505-564-4621 or mpetersen@daily-times.com.