Chipotle, Starbucks coming to North Branch

Not to be outdone by Cambridge’s grand reveal of a Pizza Ranch coming to town, residents of North Branch can eagerly anticipate two new restaurants; coffee chain Starbucks Coffee Company and burrito favorite Chipotle Mexican Grill.

Mayor Jim Swenson officially announced the new restaurants on his Facebook page on Friday, Nov. 10, with few additional details.

The restaurants will be built in the southwest corner of the County Market mall parking lot, at the intersection of Trunk Highway 95 and Flink Avenue, according to city Administrator Renae Fry.

The sale of the land is set to close in the next month or so, Fry said, and the developer has applied for site plan approval to build two buildings.

The developer’s name is Paul Tucci, Fry said, but the correspondence has not indicated whether he is working on behalf of a group or company. A Paul Tucci is listed as Executive Vice President of Development at Oppidan Investment Company, based in Excelsior, MN.

A request for comment to Oppidan Investment Company was not returned in time for publication.

Starbucks Coffee Company is a Seattle, Washington-based company founded in 1971. According to their website, there are currently more than 34,000 Starbucks stores worldwide. Starbucks is known for its highly customizable espresso drinks and holiday specials.

Chipotle Mexican Grill is a Delaware-incorporated restaurant chain founded in Denver, Colorado in 1993, known for its large burritos. As of Dec. 31, 2021, it owned and operated 2,918 stores in the United States, along with 44 international locations and four non-Chipotle restaurants, according to an SEC filing.

These restaurants will be the second and third new chain stores opening in the same area. A Kentucky Fried Chicken building is close to completion at the east end of the same lot.

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