Chipotle Isn't Fast Food — at Least Not in New Orleans

The beleagured chain now has a shot at their first New Orleans location

City Planners’ ruling has almost secured a spot for a Chipotle location in Garden District.

City planners in New Orleans have granted Chipotle's request that the chain be considered a “standard restaurant” as opposed to a fast-food outlet, according to Uptown Messenger.

This ruling comes before the October hearing date for a proposal to turn a closed Radio Shack into the first-ever New Orleans Chipotle location, in the city's Garden District. (There are already Chipotles in the suburbs of Harahan and Metairie, but not in New Orleans proper.)

To gain approval for the new location, where a fast-food place would be less welcome, Chipotle presented arguments including the seasonality of the menus, smaller planned dining areas, a recessed patio, and condiments on the tables rather than at a bar.

Cheryl L. Heidorn, Chipotle’s design manager, sent a letter to city planners expressing her excitement at the prospect of a Garden District location, Uptown Messenger reported earlier in August. “Chipotle is extremely honored to become part of the Garden District of New Orleans,” she wrote. “This project is very unique and has required us to adapt our design approach to harmoniously blend into the deep-rooted historical surroundings of this distinctive neighborhood.”

Though New Orleans is famous as a hard-drinking town, and some Chipotle locations do serve a limited selection of margaritas and local beers, a representative of the building's owner told Uptown Messenger that the new Chipotle would not be serving alcohol.


While you're waiting for Chipotle to set up shop in this famous section of New Orleans, learn more about the city’s Garden District.