Customers won’t be getting out of their car to get their breakfast burritos at the newest Stripes Burritos Co.
Earlier this week, Stripes held a soft opening for its free-standing store at 2505 Wyoming Blvd NE — the former home of a Circle K gas station. There is no indoor dining space and the restaurant will just use a drive-thru to deliver food to customers.
Gary Hines, the owner of Stripes, said he was attracted to location because of the traffic and its proximity to residential neighborhoods. While most of Stripes generates most of its business from breakfast burritos, Hines hopes to capitalize on more evening business with the addition of a chicken sandwich to the menu. Hines said Stripes hired around 20 employees for its newest store.
“We just have a huge appreciation for Albuquerque trying local,” he said.
In 2021, Hines hopes to expand into Rio Rancho and into another location at San Pedro Drive and Lomas Boulevard. He expects the stores to be open in the next six and eight months, respectively. Hines did have to close the Stripes Biscuit Co. restaurant at 5701 Gibson Blvd. SE in 2020 because of the indoor dining restrictions from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Stripes donates 15 percent of all net proceeds to the New Mexico Veterans Affairs Health Care System and features hundreds of veteran portraits on its walls at the original Biscuit Co. location, Business First previously reported.
Clayton King and David Fite of King Capital Commercial Real Estate represented Hines in the opening of his newest store. Kyla Stoker, also of King Capital, represented Circle K — the seller of the property, King said.
Stoker also brokered a similar deal at 4331 San Mateo Blvd. NE — a former Circle K turned into a Chipotle. That Chipotle will be the state’s first “Chipotlane” where customers can pick up their food through the drive-thru.
“With Covid, that’s what’s trendy right now and that’s what consumers need: a drive-thru,” King said. “For retailers, it’s just another way to increase sales. … In today’s day and age, it’s crucial to have a drive-thru.”
According to the New Mexico Restaurant Association, the state’s restaurants generated an estimated $4 billion in sales in 2018. The restaurant industry accounted for 11% of the state’s employment in 2019, or roughly 96,400 jobs.