On Monday, Chipotle Mexican Grill celebrated the grand opening of a new Bronx location at 350 E. Fordham Road — one of 13 now in the borough.
The new eatery features a walk-up window for ease of service on digital orders and the launch of a new menu item — the “Fajita Quesadillas” — popularized by TikToker Alexis Frost — who added the fajita vegetables to the steak quesadilla and rated it a “10 out of 10” to her more than 2 million followers. Keith Lee — with more than 10 million followers — sampled the viral quesadilla and added his own “hack” by mixing the chipotle-honey vinaigrette and sour cream to create his own sauce. Now the two enjoy a lucrative partnership with the famous burrito chain.
“I never could have imagined that I’d have my own menu item at Chipotle,” said Keith Lee.
And the workers at the new Chipotle location were equally excited. Cashier Alana Seda was bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and all smiles.
“I have the energy; I think that’s why they put me on cash. I have the social skills and I’m great with customers,” said Seda, who lives in the Fordham neighborhood and was grateful to have the job.
The new location has floor-to-ceiling windows with views of the heavily trafficked retail corridor and allows for plenty of natural light to fill the venue. It also has an open kitchen where one can see the meat being seasoned and cooked — freshness is part of Chipotle’s mission. They state that “real is better” and tout that they don’t use freezers, can openers, artificial flavors or colors.
Sabrina Ramirez, who works on 183rd Street, was walking by during her lunch break looking for a place to eat and stumbled upon the new option. Ramirez is a regular customer of the Chipotle chain and said that she sometimes goes to the one located at 4760 Third Ave. near Fordham Plaza but “that one is too far — this one is closer,” she said. Ramirez was enjoying a burrito bowl with white rice and a mix of everything, as she put it.
With more than 100 locations in New York City, this latest opening marks the 13th Chipotle in the Bronx and the second in the Fordham Road area.
“Our nearby location has been well received by Fordham students and area residents so we’re expanding our footprint in this community,” said a Chipotle spokesperson.
And the Fordham Business Improvement District (BID) is happy to welcome the new location. With thousands of people in and out of the stores of Fordham Road, there are not many options for people to sit and enjoy a meal. Best Italian Pizza on Fordham Road and the Grand Concourse never replaced their seating after it was removed due to the pandemic, Gyro King on Walton Avenue only provides a counter for diners and other eateries are few and far between.
“(Chipotle) brings the potential for people to hang out longer and to be able to have a spot where they can meet with the family,” said Wilma Alonso, president and CEO of the Fordham BID.
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