The much awaited Chipotle Mexican Grill opens today in Little Rock at the Pleasant Ridge Towne Center. It’s already received a lot of comment from our readership here at the Times; I doubt that conversation will ebb any time soon.
The space is neat — it’s a modernist elongated cube with large window walls. Inside, there are fixed tables and bar stools at a section of bar tables, and a short bar against the east wall. There are traditional height tables as well. The place is rather small, actually, but it can pack a lot of people.
I thought it was interesting that the place has just the one refrigerator, which will be used for dairy things like cheese and sour cream, and for the meats, I am assuming. Vegetables will be brought in several times a week, broken down and taken to the bins up front. The company strives to bring in everything from a 350 mile radius, with few exceptions (avocados come to mind).
So, how does it work? You go in, walk to the right and (if there’s not a line in front of you — fat chance of that today!) start your order when you reach the bar. There are all sorts of choices, from burrito to taco to salad. You choose your protein (beef, chicken, pork, etc.) and what vegetables you want on it and what toppings. There are thousands of combinations. You pay for your food, you fill your own drink, you sit down and consume your meal, you go. Makes sense to me.