Fast-casual chain Qdoba Mexican Eats closed last month after nearly 15 years of business on the Corner. Qdoba, which closed July 20, operated on the Corner since 2003, when it replaced Espresso Royale Caffe.
Third-year College student Daniel Crystal said he was a regular and was disappointed to find out it had closed.
“I like the food, I think it’s better than Chipotle, honestly,” Crystal said. “Better deal, because you get free [guacamole], free queso. And the ingredients are fresher … there’s not really another place like that on the Corner.”
The closest Mexican fast-casual restaurant to Grounds is now Chipotle Mexican Grill, in the Barracks Road Shopping Center. Qdoba has a separate Charlottesville location in the Shops at Stonefield, approximately two miles from Grounds.
“I do not know that I’ll be going there,” Crystal said, noting that he will “probably check it out.”
No sources contacted for this article provided a reason for Qdoba’s closing or an indication of what will become of the Corner space.
Recent efforts to contact the Charlottesville district manager of Qdoba, Shawn Wright, and the Qdoba property owner, Hunter E. Craig, were unsuccessful. The general manager of the Corner Qdoba declined to comment.
Some students noted their preferences for what should replace Qdoba’s vacancy on the Corner.
“I would like to see a barbecue place and a place that serves ice cream,” third-year College student Seth Hochman said. “I was also thinking a taco place. I know Armando’s [Mexican Restaurant] is [on the Corner], but a place that just serves cheap tacos would be great.”
Hochman said he was not a fan of Qdoba, having felt queasy after eating there his second and final time.
“I feel happy [it closed] because I personally didn’t love it that much, but also I do know that some of my friends did like going to Qdoba, so I feel a little bit bad for them,” Hochman said. “I’m hoping that there will be some cool new food place there that’ll be better.”
Crystal, meanwhile, said he would like the replacement to be fast and inexpensive.
“Ideally, I’d have another place like [Qdoba],” he said.