The Tri-Cities is getting its first Chipotle Mexican Grill this summer.
The popular chain, which specializes in burritos and tacos, will be opening on the corner of Columbia Center Boulevard and Okanogan Place in Kennewick.
Chipotle’s menu also features burrito bowls, which is basically a burrito without the tortilla, and salads.
A sign announcing “Burritofication in Progress” hangs on the unit formerly occupied by Quiznos. Construction is ongoing in the unit, which is in-between Payless ShoeSource and GameStop in the Target parking lot.
It will be the company’s second Eastern Washington restaurant. Previously, the closest Chipotle was in Spokane.
Chipotle opened its first store in 1993, with the focus on serving food quickly but still using high quality raw ingredients and high end restaurant cooking techniques. Now, the publicly-traded company has more than 1,800 restaurants, including about 20 international ones. About 25 of those restaurants are in Washington state.
Kennewick is only one of the more than 200 new restaurants the company expects to open this year, according to company officials. Already, Chipotle opened about 50 new restaurants during the first three months of this year.
Chipotle recently reported revenue of nearly $1.1 billion during the first quarter of this year. Company officials attributed the 20 percent gain from the same months last year in part to the new restaurant openings. Existing restaurants also saw about a 10 percent increase in sales, in part because of higher menu prices rolled out in April to June of 2014 and some increase in traffic.
The net income for the first quarter of this year was $122.6 million, or $3.88 per diluted share, compared to $83.1 million, or $2.64 per diluted share, in the first quarter of 2014, according to Chipotle officials.