(Effingham) — Chipotle Mexican Grill, located on N. Keller Drive, officially opened its doors in Effingham on Saturday amidst fanfare and a speech from Mayor Jeff Bloemker. The restaurant has been busy with activity the past few weeks as general manager Ryan Freund trained his team for Saturday’s big opening. According him, Effingham exceeded his expectations with applicants looking to work at the store.
Freund, who is from the Quad Cities area, has been with the company for two years. He said he was “excited” to open a Chipotle here in Effingham. He isn’t the only one. Becky Brown, Membership Manager for the Effingham County Chamber of Commerce, attended the grand opening and said that new restaurants and businesses show that the Effingham area is a great community.
The Denver based food chain has come under fire recently after issues with food safety sent customers in several different states to the hospital. Nita Mohabir, who oversees several Chipotle restaurants in Central Illinois, pointed that food safety is big focus for the company. Ultimately, she said the best part of opening a new restaurant is seeing all the satisfied customers.
The excitement was tangible when Freund officially cut the ribbon to open the store. There was quite a long line that wrapped around the interior restaurant, with Mayor Bloemker at the head.