Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Blue Coast Burrito Holds Open House, Sort of

Future Home of Blue Coast Burrito, 37 Market Square, Knoxville
Fresh on the heels of Nama's opening last week came news that Blue Coast Burrito would hold an Open House from 4:00 to 6:00 on Tuesday. The best I could do was 5:30. A sign was posted in the front window which revealed a rendering of the final product as well as a statement indicating that we "are going to be neighbors." As I looked in the front door and began to take pictures, I was a little surprised that so much work would be underway during an open house, but there were men in suits about, also, so I went about my blogga man business until I was approached by a nice man who asked if he might help me.
Entrance to Blue Coast Burrito, 37 Market Square, Knoxville, March 1, 2011
I could tell from the way he framed his question that he didn't particularly expect me, which was surprising for someone hosting an open house. As we talked it became clear that he hadn't gotten the memo about an open house. He was quite surprised to learn that it had been on the Property Scope blog on the Knoxville News Sentinel site, though he did acknowledge that the writer of that blog, Josh Flory, had come by earlier.
Bottom Floor, Serving Island, Blue Coast Burrito, Market Square Knoxville
The person assuming the role of surprised general manager was Garry Burke, who proved to be a gracious, if somewhat surprised host. He offered to take me on an impromptu tour, which I very much appreciated. The bottom floor will have a serving island which will cater to guests on two sides. Each person picks their own fresh ingredients from the island and a burrito is assembled to their specifications.
Margarita bar on second floor, Blue Coast Burrito
Emphasis is placed on "fresh" and Gary assured me the vegetables will be purchased from local farmers. Upstairs is the margarita bar, with seating planned to be scattered throughout. The idea is that customers may bring their burritos from downstairs and find a table or may simply come upstairs for a drink, with the option of filling out an order for a burrito which will be delivered to them upstairs. He showed me the food preparation area and talked about the outdoor seating, which will be considerable, as well. It is the largest of the stores they have opened, coming in at around 4,000 square feet as opposed to their typical 2,500. The margarita bar is their first attempt at that idea.
Gary Burke, General Manager and All Around Nice Guy, Blue Coast Burrito
He's excited about the opening and, optimistically expects that to be in about two weeks. Maybe his next move should be to cross the square and help some folks on the other side get a move on. When it opens, this will make the fifth restaurant on that side of the Square to prepare foods with a southwestern/Mexican/Hispanic theme, joining Soccer Taco, Cocoa Moon, La Costa and Sangria's. We don't have much in the way of ethnic sections of town, so maybe this could be our Little Mexico or Little Hispaniola. I'm not sure how Subway fits in, but then they are always closed when I'm around, so maybe they don't count so much.

Food Prep Area, Blue Coast Burrito, March 1, 2011
Applications being accepted on the Bill Lyons Pavilion for Blue Coast Burrito
So, mark it on your calendars - sometime around the middle of the month - and we'll meet and check out some fresh burritos. If these openings keep up all spring I'll have to buy bigger blogga britches.

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