Visitors to downtown looking for a burrito fix could soon have the option of grabbing one at a proposed Chipotle location on Market Space.
This came as sad news to Jason Dey who said he wouldn't be back if Hard Bean sold to Chipotle because he's not a fan of its food.
Dey said he drives to downtown from the eastern shore at least once a week specifically to patronize Hard Bean because "there's nothing like this over there."
Timothy Jacobs also frequents Hard Bean. "I love it," he said. "I didn't realize they were trying to sell. I'll really miss it."
But Jacobs acknowledged that if Chipotle opened up in place of the coffee shop, he would probably go.
The Capital reported that Chipotle wanted to be downtown all along. When the restaurant opened its first Annapolis location in 2006, it applied for a spot at 122 Dock St. A zoning restriction that requires restaurants to offer non-disposable silverware got in the way.
City code considers disposable silverware a hallmark of fast-food restaurants, and fast-food wasn't allowed on the property Chipotle wanted. The burrito chain ended up choosing a location at Westfield Annapolis Mall—outside of city limits.
Moe’s Southwest Grill, which also serves burritos, leased Chipotle's desired site in 2005. Patrons can choose between plastic and steel forks at its location.
Brittany Traylor works at City Dock Coffee and said having another burrito place to choose from would be nice, but her coworker Steve Hebb disagreed.
"It's not even a choice. I would definitely go to Chipotle," Hebb said. "It's always great having a Chipotle four doors down from where you work."
Traylor thought the midshipmen would probably keep business booming at the proposed location on Market Space.
Neither of them were surprised to hear that Hard Bean could soon be closing.
Hebb said, "I'm not upset about it at all. The quality at Hard Bean has been declining for a while now."
Hard Bean's owner Gary Amoth did not go into details with the The Capital about when his business might close or on Chipotle's plans to rent the site.
Amoth told The Capital, "I tell you what, that business has been for sale for some time."
Correction: Patch originally reported that Chipotle opened at the mall in 2005. It opened in 2006. Additionally, Chipotle is looking to rent, not purchase the location on Market Space. Patch regrets the error.