Chipotle to open a Fort Smith location

by Michael Tilley ([email protected]) 16,337 views 

A Chipotle Mexican Grill will open in Fort Smith later this year, and will be part of a multi-tenant redevelopment of the former Logan’s Roadhouse restaurant in the northeast corner of Rogers Avenue and Interstate 540.

Eric Nelson, principal and vice president of brokerage for Little Rock-based Moses Tucker Partners, confirmed with Talk Business & Politics that the restaurant company has signed a lease for the Fort Smith space. The former Logan’s building and property is owned by Fort Smith businessman Bennie Westphal, who is a co-owner of Talk Business & Politics.

Nelson said the about 10,500 square foot building will be gutted on the inside and a new facade will be built. He said Chipotle will be the anchor store in the development and will be located on the west side of the property with a drive-thru. The development cost is around $2 million, Nelson said.

Fort Smith architect Scott Hathaway is working with Nelson and Westphal on the redevelopment, and Fort Smith-based Gateway Construction is overseeing the work.

Efforts are underway to secure a building permit and work could begin as early as next week, Nelson said. The goal is to finish the space and turn it over to Chipotle by September, he said, adding that it usually takes Chipotle about two months to open the store once they have access to the facility.

Chipotle spokesperson Erin Wolford confirmed the company is opening a restaurant in Fort Smith.

“We are scheduled to open a Chipotle restaurant this winter at 6201 Rogers Ave. The Fort Smith location will feature a Chipotlane, our digital order drive thru pick up lane,” Wolford noted.

Nelson laughed when asked how long they have worked to secure a major restaurant for the space.

“It’s been a few years. It was a pre-pandemic project for us for sure. … It’s been a long time coming,” Nelson said.

Moses Tucker Partners is the second largest commercial brokerage and management firm in Arkansas, with 8.2 million square feet of commercial space under management and around 100 employees among offices in Bentonville and Little Rock.

Chipotle, a company with a $35.272 billion market capitalization, had more than 3,000 restaurants as of March 31, in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France and Germany. The company notes it is the only restaurant company of its size that owns and operates all its restaurants.

The company’s shares (NYSE: CMG) closed Tuesday at $1,260.14, up $14.54. During the past 52 weeks the share price ranged between $1,958.55 and $1,196.28. The company reported first quarter net income of $158.294 million, more than the $127.101 million in the same quarter of 2021. Total revenue in the first quarter was $2.02 billion, up from the $1.741 billion in the same quarter of 2021.