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Chipotle gives away free burritos

Irena Zajickova | Friday, September 25, 2009

The free burrito events held by Chipotle Mexican Grill’s new location in Eddy Street Commons drew mixed reviews from Notre Dame students.

The store held a small promotional event Wednesday night where students could bring in cards they obtained from the student government office from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

However, Thursday the store promised to serve free burritos until 7 p.m. and cut the line off at 5:30 p.m.

While students who attended the Wednesday event were pleased with the new restaurant, students who were turned away Thursday evening were less than thrilled.

“This in an outrage,” said Michelle Perone, a senior living off campus. “They made us all these promises and now they’re not keeping them.”

Xan Schwartz, a freshman from Welsh Family, agreed, and said she did not think the Chipotle staff was doing all they could to serve the students.

“They can’t do anything about the length of the line, but at least they could stay open longer, or pass out burritos or drinks outside,” Schwartz said. “There’s a lot of other things they can do.”

Sol Aguilera, the manager of the Eddy Street Chipotle, said she and her staff did all they could to accommodate as many students, whom she estimates will comprise 80 percent of the restaurant’s clientele, as possible.

“What happened is it’s going to take an hour and a half to get [inside],” Aguilera said. “And then we’ll need to close the restaurant.”

Both Schwartz and Perone went to Hot Box Pizza, a restaurant across the street from Chipotle, after being turned away from the free burrito line. The pizzeria was full of students who were unable to obtain a complimentary Chipotle food item.

Students who were admitted into the restaurant said they were excited about the new location, which is significantly closer than the old location in Mishawaka.

“I’m really excited to have a Chipotle near campus,” Adam Woodruff, a senior, said. “However, I still think it should be in LaFortune instead.”

Woodruff also said he was pleased with the way Eddy Street Commons looked.

“I think architecturally all the buildings look really nice and I’m excited to have all these stores near campus,” Woodruff said.

Rachel Davidson, a senior, attended the event Wednesday night and was happy with the experience.

“Everybody was happy and the food was delicious,” Davidson said. “You had to come in with little cards but they started handing out the cards at the door, so they basically wanted to give us free food.”

Like Woodruff, Davidson was also looking forward to finally seeing Eddy Street Commons, which was only recently opened to the public.

“I was very excited to see it and it was beautiful,” Davidson said. “I wish it had been here my freshman year.”

The student body as a whole seemed pleased with the new restaurant, and even those students who were turned away said they would likely go to Chipotle again in the future.

“I’m just mad because I looked forward to getting Chipotle after my class and I got halfway through the line and they told me I couldn’t go in,” Meghan Pulte, a freshman from Lyons Hall, said. “I’ll probably still keep going to Chipotle though.”

Students were also pleasantly surprised with the quality of the food at Hot Box Pizza.

“The pizza we got was really good,” Perone said. “And at least Hot Box Pizza isn’t making promises they can’t deliver.”

izajicko@nd.edu