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Chipotle delays opening of new Middletown location

The opening of the new Chipotle Mexican Grill has been delayed until August. Crews are working to install kitchen equipment and the concrete work around the building and drive-through. ED RICHTER/STAFF
The opening of the new Chipotle Mexican Grill has been delayed until August. Crews are working to install kitchen equipment and the concrete work around the building and drive-through. ED RICHTER/STAFF

The opening of the new Chipotle Mexican Grill in Middletown has been delayed until next month, according to corporate officials.

The new restaurant, which is located in an outlot of the Towne Mall Galleria in front of the Gabe’s store, was scheduled to open Thursday.

“From time to time, construction delays can impact our target restaurant opening dates,” said Tyler Benson, corporate spokesman. “The new projected opening date is Aug. 12.”

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Benson did not specify what caused the delays at the Middletown location. He said the restaurant will have between 25 to 35 employees, and all jobs will be listed on its website.

The site appears to have some more concrete and paving work to be completed for its drive-thru window, and stainless steel counters and other kitchen equipment have been delivered.

In June, Tom Harb of Byblos Development Ohio based in Orlando, Fla., said after the exterior is completed on the building, and Chipotle brings in contractors to complete the final interior finishing work before it opens.

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“Everybody is excited about this project and it is one of the few with a drive-thru,” Harb said. “It’s a good investment.”

The project was approved by the Middletown Planning Commission in February 2019 but was delayed for the outlot at 3455 Towne Blvd. after the developer decided to change the orientation of the building from facing Towne Boulevard to having the entrance facing the other outlot businesses such as Buffalo Wild Wings, Sport Clips, GNC and Aspen Dental.

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Gabe’s officials also asked the developer to revise the plans because they did not like the dumpster location in the original plan. City officials said the only other change was a reduction in the building size from 2,400 square-feet to 2,314 square-feet. The planning commission approved that change in September 2019.

The building will still feature a pick-up window on the north side facing the Gabe’s store. However, Chipotle’s pick-up window is different from other restaurants as customers have to order their food by a mobile or online device before it can be picked up.

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City officials also said that Chipotle was identified as a highly desired restaurant by city residents who participated in the 2017 “What If” Middletown visioning community outreach survey. The “What if Middletown” visioning process was an initial step to publicize the Master Plan and other community planning processes.

There are two Chipotle locations near Middletown along Interstate 75 — one at the Ohio 63 exit in Monroe and another at the Ohio 73 exit for Franklin/Springboro.