Monday, December 31, 2018

[CLOSURE ALERT] Barberitos A Bust in Buckhead

Barberitos has closed its restaurant at The Peach shopping center in Buckhead.  Signage on the restaurant's front door indicates it closed as of December 20.  The restaurant occupied a 2,300 square foot space at the south end of the Publix-anchored development adjacent to Party City.  Barberitos, based in Athens, opened in the center during the summer of 2012.  Despite being open over five years, the restaurant received only 51 reviews on its Yelp.com page with a cumulative 3.5 star rating.  
Barberitos is the second restaurant franchise in recent months to close in the popular Buckhead shopping center.  Planet Smoothie closed its longstanding location in the center in late October, citing "rent issues" as the reason for the closure.  

The closure of the Buckhead Barberitos is the third closure in recent months for the locally based chain. The Barberitos in Roswell at the corner of Alpharetta Highway and Mansell Road closed at the end of 2017 and has since been replaced by Fresco Cantina Grille.  Another Barberitos  closed in The Prado shopping center in Sandy Springs about two months ago and remains vacant.

The Prado location, situated in a largely hidden out-parcel where Yogurt Mountain previously closed and Bruegger's Bagels never opened, is likely the least desirable location and will likely be the last to be re-leased.

The last remaining metro Atlanta location of Barberitos is in Sandy Plains Centre on Shallowford Road in East Cobb.  Barberitos, mostly through franchisees, continues to operate about 50 restaurants in the southeast including restaurants in Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee. 

Barberitos, like Atlanta-based Willy's Mexicana Grill, features "Mission-style" burritos.  Willy's though, which got its start on Roswell Road near Chastain Park in 1995, has garnered a tremendous local following, which makes them a formidable competitor for anyone looking to enter the market with a similar offering.  

Despite being based in Georgia, Barberitos has seemingly suffered the same fate as many other out-of-state based burrito chains.  

Earlier this month, Blue Coast Burritos closed its lone Atlanta area location on Northside Drive after just over a year in business.  

Barbacoa, a quick-serve burrito joint similar to other chains, opened in Kennesaw in late 2014, and was closed by early 2016.  Regional chain Mojo Burrito, based in Chattanooga, opened a location in Dunwoody in early 2014, but by late 2014 it had closed.   Coralville, Iowa-based Pancheros Mexican Grill opened in downtown Atlanta in 2009, but closed less than a year later.  

National players Baja Fresh and Qdoba have also both struggled in Atlanta, where each has closed locations.     

Atlanta-based Moe's Southwest Grill, whose first ever location is located across from The Peach in a converted Einstein Bros. Bagels, has fared well overall in Atlanta but has seen a number of  closures over the past few year or so including outposts in Atlantic Station, Sandy Springs, Ansley Mall and Colony Square, among others. 
When Barberitos opened in The Peach, it converted a former bank space into a restaurant, likely spending a small fortune in the process.  The space, now a "second generation restaurant space" is well sized and located for another quick serve restaurant to open more affordably than they might otherwise be able to.  

What would you like to see open in place of in place of Barberitos at The Peach?  Are you surprised that Barberitos has closed so many Atlanta area locations?  What is your favorite burrito joint in town?

Please share your thoughts below  

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

There’s one additional Barberitos in Buford off of Hamilton Mill Road. Business seems to be hit or miss as there are other options in the area.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure Barberitos translates to Atlanta, as its original location (Athens) relies heavily on a fairly compact downtown clientele and lots of poor college kids.

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