Friday, December 14, 2018

[WRAPPED UP AND ROLLING OUT] Blue Coast Burrito Shutters Lone Atlanta Location

In a sadly unsurprising move, the owners of Blue Coast Burrito announced earlier this week to their 405 fans on Facebook that they would close permanently Friday, December 14.  The restaurant, a franchise of the Nashville area based chain, opened November 6, 2017 in a small center in Berkeley Heights on Northside Drive where Rising Roll Gourmet had previously closed. 
Blue Coast Burrito Friday night 

The Atlanta franchise was opened by Kathi Proctor, previously a training consultant at Chick-fil-A, and her husband Michael Proctor, who according to his LinkedIn profile, is an Order Management Manager at The Home Depot.

ToNeTo Atlanta never likes to see people fail but this was a textbook example of inexperienced operators opening a locally unknown brand in a highly competitive market in a poor location and hoping for success.  

"To Our Guests: we want to let you know that we have made the difficult decision to close our doors permanently. We have loved serving this community and are sad we will be unable to continue doing so.  Our final day of business will be Friday, December 14th. We look forward to serving you during our final days!  #bluecoastburrito #itsbeenourpleasure"

Blue Coast was in an inferior location with limited visibility and was surrounded by popular local favorite Willy's Mexicana Grill, three Chipotle Mexican Grill locations, and an outpost of local upstart Bell Street Burritos.  Blue Coast's primary differentiation was that they offered their signature “Baja Style” fish in both tacos and burritos.    

Launched in 2003, Blue Coast currently has its largest presence in Tennessee (13 locations), but also has single units in Alabama and Arkansas. 

Out of state burrito chains have had limited success in metro Atlanta.  National players Baja Fresh and Qdoba have struggled in Atlanta, where each has closed locations.   

Most recently, Barbacoa, a quick serve burrito chain 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.  

Willy's operates 30 locations in Georgia and closed only its fourth location in company history this past October (a former Qdoba) while fellow Atlanta born but now mega franchise Moe's has closed four locations in metro Atlanta in just the past year or so.  Local Moe's closures include outposts in Atlantic Station, Sandy Springs, Ansley Mall and Colony Square, among others.  Another Moe's, on Ponce de Leon Avenue not far from Ponce City Market, may also soon close as its building is currently being marketed for lease

Are you surprised that Blue Coast Burrito is closing?  Why do you think out of town burrito joints struggle so much in metro Atlanta?  What would you like to see open in place of Blue Coast Burrito?

Please share your thoughts below   


Bryan Marquardt said...

I just noticed the place on Thursday. Guess I am too late.

Anonymous said...

It's impossible to get in or out of that shopping center, so it will be a challenge for anything to survive there.

oden said...

How has Barberitos on Peachtree in Buckhead survived all this time? Another nondescript quick-serve taco and burrito joint. Blue Coast was pretty good, but yeah, you'd have to know it was there. Nobody is seeing that from the road and pulling in.

Unknown said...

Oden spoke too soon about Barberitos. It closed it's doors on the 20th - 4 days after the above posting. Not able to find anything as to why but I'm guessing had a lot to do with not being able to see from the road and not knowing it was there and having Moe's across the street and very obvious it is there.

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