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Get all up in their grill

New Mexican eatery in St. James

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Business partners Curtis Palmer (left) and Ryan Morton stand outside Qdoba Mexican Grill, which opened its doors at 1-1340 Ellice Ave. on April 21.

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Business partners Curtis Palmer (left) and Ryan Morton stand outside Qdoba Mexican Grill, which opened its doors at 1-1340 Ellice Ave. on April 21. Photo Store

A new restaurant is bringing a fiesta of flavours to the St. James area.

The Denver-based chain Qdoba Mexican Grill, which has more than 600 restaurants, officially opened its doors at 1-1340 Ellice Ave. on April 21 at 11 a.m. in the three-tenant complex, which also includes Sally Beauty Supply and Beauty Systems Group and a Rogers outlet. This location is the fourth in Canada, with two stores in London, Ont. and one in Brandon. The Brandon location, opened about a year and a half ago, was the very first Qdoba Mexican Grill to open in Canada.

Ryan Morton, general manager of the Qdoba Mexican Grill in Winnipeg, said the process of getting a Qdoba location in the city took about two and a half years.

"After a bit of talking back and forth (with the franchise), they laid out a plan for development," Morton said. "It was just a matter of finding retail space for us to open our restaurant."

Morton said the location was selected as the spot for the restaurant because it was a high-traffic area.

"We wanted a place that had a parking lot available; we want people to park here and sit down and eat with their families, so that was one of the main focuses for us," Morton explained. "There’s a good mix of commercial and industrial retail around here. It’s mostly a lunch place, so we get a lot of people coming in and buying lunch on their breaks."

For the most part, renovations are finished at the restaurant, but Morton said there was going to be something added outside of the building.

"This will all be paved. It will be 20 seats on a patio. We’ll have outdoor seating in the summer months. We’re hoping to have it done when the warm weather hits," Morton said, gesturing to the side of the restaurant.

Morton also said the restaurant will soon be offering a catering service in a couple of weeks.

"It’s set up buffet-style," Morton said.

Morton describes Qdoba Mexican Grill as a fast-casual restaurant where customers can customize their meals to their liking and interact with the kitchen staff.

"We try to do artisanal-style Mexican food," Morton said. "We invite our guests to come and choose and pick the different ingredients to build their entrees."

Qdoba Mexican Grill is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. For more information, call 204-783-1601.

 

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