Hamilton’s dining options grow with the addition of Chipotle

After months of waiting for fans of the Mexican restaurant, Chipotle opened its newly built location Wednesday on Main Street.

It is the latest restaurant in recent years to open in a new structure in Hamilton, joining such eateries as Marco’s Pizza, Hot Head Burritos and Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches, which are located a short way east on Main Street, and across the street. Other recent restaurant openings in new buildings were Hardee’s and Domino’s Pizza, both on Ohio 4.

Tano Bistro also recently opened in The Marcum complex of apartments and shops in Hamilton’s downtown.

Dan Rodabaugh, a Powell, Ohio-based field leader for Chipotle, was pleased with the first day.

“We opened well,” Rodabaugh said. “I’m very hopeful.”

The new Hamilton restaurant is the second in Greater Cincinnati to have a “Chipotlane,” a pickup window for people who order online. It will be one of four to open this year in the region with that feature, officials said.

“We’re glad to be part of the neighborhood, and part of this town,” Rodabaugh said.

Dan Bates, president and CEO of the Greater Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, said, “We are thrilled because it gives yet another option for food in Hamilton. I call it high-quality fast food.”

Andrew Bowman, 25, who lives in Hamilton’s West Side, also was pleased.

“I like that there’s a Chipotle in the area for sure,” said the longtime fan of the eatery. He’s glad he won’t always have to drive to Bridgewater Falls.

“People are like that with that restaurant,” Gunderson said. “That’s a good franchise.”

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“My goal is that you might not know whether you’re in the city or outside the city, and you might know exactly where you want to eat, but you know that you can find it in Hamilton,” Gunderson said.

The options should increase further in 2021 when the Spooky Nook indoor sports complex and convention center opens on North B Street. Plans for that facility call for retail areas, including restaurants, that face into the Spooky Nook complex, but also outside the buildings toward B Street.

“That’s one thing I think Spooky Nook will definitely add to the area here, too, is it’ll drive traffic to our restaurants,” Gunderson said. “They’re definitely going to be a great recipient of a project like that.”

Officials hope to see other restaurants open in the city in coming months.

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