Chipotle Mexican Grill, the fast-casual restaurant found throughout the country, is closing a location in Merrillville at 1948 Southlake Mall for a new Chipotlane site.
The company recently announced it would be closing its Merrillville location in Spring 2023, moving out of the Southlake Mall across U.S. 30, according to NWI Times. The new Merrillville location and opening date have yet to be decided. This comes as a result of the company’s fast-growing and highly-successful Chipotlane, which allows the restaurant to have a drive-thru where people can pick up online orders. Chipotle introduced this concept in late 2021 and recently opened its 500th location in Louisville.
“We are thrilled to celebrate this landmark Chipotlane opening,” Tabassum Zalotrawala, Chief Development Officer, said in a press release at the time of the achievement. “Chipotlanes are the digital drive-thru of the future and a key piece of our growth strategy as we plan to more than double our restaurant count over the long term to achieve 7,000 restaurants or more in North America.”
Chipotle appears to have completely shifted its focus on this concept, which became popular due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, the company plans to open between 255 to 285 new restaurants, with at least 80 percent including a Chipotlane. When the new Merrillville location opens, there’s a chance the company will host some kind of promotion. In Louisville, the company gave the first 50 guests in line on opening day complimentary Chipotle merchandise.