Chipotle officially opened its doors in Brownsville on Thursday, November 9, 2023, becoming the latest restaurant to serve the city's community of around 180,000 people.
Brownsville Mayor John Cowen Jr. expressed his delight at the addition of another eatery to the city. He sees this as a sign of progress in Brownsville, indicating that well-known brands are investing in the community and providing high-quality dining options to residents. The opening also suggests economic growth in the city.
“They are providing that other high-quality option to our residents here and it speaks to the demand that is here and to the level of economic growth that we are having,” Cowen said.
This is the first Chipotle restaurant to open in Brownsville. As of September 2023, Chipotle had a significant presence with over 3,300 restaurants across the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, and Germany.
Daniel Niño, the general manager for Chipotle, mentioned that the opening of a Chipotle in Brownsville had been eagerly anticipated. The last Chipotle to open in the Rio Grande Valley was in Harlingen.
The news of the Brownsville location's opening generated excitement among Chipotle's management, who have been looking to expand their presence in the region. They recognized that people from Brownsville were already making the drive to Harlingen to visit Chipotle.
“We have been trying to expand our role here in the Valley. We get a lot of people from Brownsville that make the drive to Harlingen so when we got the news that ‘hey we are going to build on in Brownsville’ of course we got excited. My boss and myself, we love this city,” Niño said.
Myra Briseno, a Chipotle enthusiast originally from Nevada, expressed her excitement about the opening of the Brownsville location. She had driven to McAllen and Harlingen previously to satisfy her Chipotle cravings, but now that there's a Chipotle in Brownsville, she was one of the first in line and had already placed her order. For her, Chipotle is a reminder of home.
“I placed my order and I wanted to be the first in line. I wanted to be inside and see it. I really wanted to see it. I’m really excited. It’s kind of a reminder of home for me,” Briseno said.