Friday, July 12, 2013

Willy's Mexicana Grill Pounces on Prime intown Location

Willy's Mexicana Grill opening a new intown location.


Atlanta-based Willy's Mexicana Grill will open at The Village at Druid Hills.  Willy's swooped in to take space (not yet built) that was earmarked for Zoës Kitchen prior to their pullout (Zoës opted out of this project in favor of opening in the former Cheers liquor store  at nearby Loehmann's Plaza.)

Willy's will join current planned tenants Newk's Cafe, Sport Clips, a nail salon and Sprint.  A separate stand alone building on the Briarcliff side of the project will house Mattress Firm.  According to Columbia Properties, the project's developer, there are as many as seven unleased spaces up for grabs, each around 1,400 square feet.  Personally, I think they may have divided the project into too many pieces considering the parking limitations the lunch establishments may find that they have.

Newk's Eatery, started by the founding members of McAlister's Deli, will likely compete most directly with Panera Bread, located in Loehmann's Plaza.  Willy's will take on Moe's Southwest Grill, also in Loehmann's Plaza.  The Loehmann's Plaza Moe's was one of the first franchised locations of the now nearly 500 unit chain.

I spoke with Willy Bitter, Willy's founder yesterday, and confirmed that the very delayed Cherokee Plaza location is finally on track and if all goes well, should be open by mid-to-late October.  The Village at Druid Hills location would follow, likely opening in late February or early March. Willy's recently added a new location at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport concourse B, marking its 22nd store open.

Personally, I've grown out of Moe's and am a full fledged Willy's believer. What about you, who rolls the best burrito in your opinion? Will Zoës regret leaving this new center or will Willy's face an unbeatable burrito battle with established neighborhood Moes?  Who else should open in this new center?  

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Chipotle>Willy's>Moe's.

Anonymous said...

Moe's to me is hands down the best. I love Chipotle, but they don't have queso and that's a huge fail to me. Willy's is just ok. I've never found their food particularly anything to anticipate.

Anonymous said...

The plaza will have a nail salon? No! I can't believe it.

Anonymous said...

My favorite is Freebirds in Austin, TX.

Chipotle has begun to grow on me here in Atlanta, however.

Willys is fine.

Moes sucks

SB said...

All the burritos are good. Quit making it about one versus the other commenters. Chipotle is totally different from Willy's/Moe's which are similar to each other. Willy's are all more consistent location to location. Moe's being so big now, has some great locations (the original for example is stellar), and others stink (Dunwoody Village, airport/CNN Ctr meat isn't seasoned right). For that reason, right now I give Willy's an edge over Moe's but that's not the point!! They all offer a worthy product of my $7-8.

Anonymous said...

When you're right, you're right.

Willy's is extremely underrated. Have you had the Charolita tacos? ... YUM! Their tomatillo sauce is the best in the biz.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the above comment - Willy's tomatillo sauce is absolutely the best. I love their salads with roasted red peppers, great slaw, fresh cilantro etc. Hands down - Willy's offers a far better product than Moe's.

PB said...

Since when is the Druid Hills/Briarcliff area considered to be "intown?" Thats the first time Ive ever heard it described that way; just curious.

Anonymous said...

I agree with PB. That area does have a suburban layout and feel, especially in the nearby residential cul-de-sacs. And it's located in unincorporated DeKalb County with an Atlanta mailing address, so it's not really "in" any town!

Jenna S. said...

Still all about Moe's although C would disagree and choose W's. Now we can go to both in largely the same place, I guess =)

Anonymous said...

I wish these burrito places would mix their ingredients before wrapping instead of layering. Went to a place in Colorado that did that and it was 10 times better.

A bite of nothing but sour cream. A bite of nothing but hot salsa. : /

Annette said...

@PB, since it was ITP? I've never heard a different definition for "intown Atlanta."

Anonymous said...

Willy's has by far the best tofu option. I can't even eat the tofu at Moes.