Saturday, February 14, 2015

Jalapeño Express Closing, For Now

After only being open for about 5 weeks, Jalapeño Express in the Newport Plaza has closed for now. FTM file. 
FTM broke the news of the newest restaurant, Jalapeño Express, at the Newport Plaza back in April. According to owner Octavio Correo, who also owns Rio Grande in the same development, he had planned on opening the fast casual burrito place in May.

Slower than planned construction delayed opening until late December of 2014. According to Correo, they were going to try and compete with Chipotle Mexican Grill, which opened last year across Carothers Road in the Newport Pavilion. In the April FTM article,"It's going to be the same quality as you'd see at a restaurant like Chipotle," said Correo. "But we are going to give you more for less."


After only being open for less than 2 months, Correo made the decision to close the doors temporarily because "business was very slow. Much slower than they expected."

According to a manager at Rio Grande, Correo, whose corporation Correo Family LLC owns both restaurants, signed a five-year lease in the old Blockbuster so "they are going to try something else.  Possibly another Mexican concept. They have no choice."

Katie Lindsey, a stylist in Great Clips which is in the same mini-complex as Jalapeño Express said that she was surprised when they closed after opening only a few weeks earlier. "I ate there a few times and liked it. It was just like Chipotle but cheaper and they had queso! They didn't seem to be very busy, though."

Last week rumors began circulating that Rio Grande was on the verge of closing. With the Correo Family owning both of these restaurants, it's apparent that the rumor may have started here.

Comments from the April article on Jalapeño Express article. 

16 comments:

  1. I just saw their sign two days ago. They need to figure out a way to market it. It's in an almost invisible location.

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  2. I agree about the invisible location. It's way back up there and that intersection has become a nightmare to navigate. I also think market saturation is another issue. There are already a bunch of Mexican restaurants.

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  3. I was eagerly awaiting their opening, and never realized they had finally done so. They need to do a better job getting the word put

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  4. Definitely need to market better. No one knew what was going on with it. Utilize what you have. Rio is a very successful business. It's basically free marketing but it will be good marketing. Post signs or deals leading them to jalapeno express. You can add coupons to the back of the Kroger receipt. We have the largest Kroger around, use that to your advantage. Make a commercial. Something. Everyone was confused about the restaurants 1st opening date. Then the second happened abruptly without notice.

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    1. registered RepublicanFebruary 15, 2015 at 12:47 PM

      FTM would be a great fit to advertise, I would think. Hint, hint.

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  5. Definitely need to market that they are open! My husband did get to try out and liked it, I've been wanting to get there, just haven't had a chance to yet.

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  6. Maybe don't open a fast casual Mexican restaurant across from the most popular fast casual Mexican on earth and next to your own already existing casual Mexican restaurant. Stupid move all around.

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  7. I didn't even know it was there and I drive through that intersection almost every day.

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  8. A taqueria serving street-style tacos wouldn't really compete with either Chipotle or Rio Grande.

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  9. A taqueria selling street - style tacos wouldn't duplicate offerings from either Rio Grande or Chipotle.

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  10. I had no idea they were open! I have been wanting to try it.

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  11. Maybe they should re-open as Rio Grande Express. Leverage the name, menu, and reputation they've already established but cater to people who want the same great food but with an easier takeout option.

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  12. Better marketing indeed. Maybe add some great Mexican soups; guacamole made at your table and a sauce bar. Southern Cali has nixed Chipotle with better variety even with a fast food mantra. Try again, be innovative and we'll come.

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    1. Sauce bar and soups are great ideas, but when I go to a fast casual restaurant I don't want any sort of table service, even for fresh guac. Blurs the lines too much.

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  13. I was hoping for a taco bar.

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  14. A Lime franchise would probably do better in that location....fresh Mexican ingredients and a larger menu.

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