NEWS

Burrito wars in Brighton's Cleveland Circle?

Rachel Lebeaux

Craving a burrito libre? Chipotle Mexican Grill, which opens in Cleveland Circle next week, has got your burrito fix covered, even if you’re low on cash.

Chipotle will officially open Jan. 31 at 1924 Beacon St. However, Jan. 30 is the restaurant’s free burrito day: People who come to the store between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. will get a 20-ounce burrito and a soft drink — completely free of charge.

On days like this, “we have been known to wrap 400 to 450 burritos in an hour,” said Katherine Newell Smith, a spokeswoman for Chipotle. “It will be a lot of fun.”

This is the fourth Chipotle to open in the Boston area. The other three are in Somerville, Dedham and Medway, and more than 670 stores nationwide.

Chipotle isn’t the first chain burrito joint on the block: there’s Boloco, at 1940 Beacon St., and nearby Brookline has a plethora of fast, cheap, burrito places. But the area’s good foot traffic both during the day and at night, a good mix of residential and business in the area, and the nearby colleges were enough to pull Chipotle in. “We always look for dynamic neighborhoods, and we think this is a really dynamic area,” Smith said.

Rosie Hanlon, executive director of Brighton Main Streets, called the proliferation of burrito restaurants in the area “clustering.”

“Can they all make it? Yes. The dollars and need are definitely there,” she said. “You never want to see empty storefronts. Chipotle is going to be a good addition, and we wish them well.”

Sean Pettis, general manager at Cleveland Circle’s Boloco, said he wasn’t worried at all about another burrito joint moving into the area.

“They are very good at what they do, but we are also good at what we do,” Pettis said. He also stressed that Boloco has “inspired burritos” with a variety of sauces and fillings and also offers a variety of smoothies. “Our menus are quite different,” Pettis said.