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Chipotle grill coming this fall

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. is coming to Fourth Street N.

When the restaurant opens in the fall, it will mark the first foray into the Tampa Bay area for the chain that takes its name from a smoked jalapeno pepper.

The grill will be part of the Round Lake I and II shopping center complex, two buildings that face each other across Fourth Street N between Seventh and Eighth avenues. The restaurant does not yet have an exact address.

Chipotle will take until fall to build out its space in the new shopping complex because the company designs all restaurants individually, said Chris Arnold, spokesman for the Denver chain.

"By virtue of designing each individually, it makes developers really like working with Chipotle," Arnold said. He said the chain is opening 100 restaurants this year and has more than 400 in operation now.

"It is one of many, many projects going on this year," he said.

Chipotle came to Florida last year. It now has five restaurants in Orlando and one in Gainesville. It is among the tenants listed for the Shoppes at Park Place in Pinellas Park, which is replacing ParkSide mall. The Shoppes are scheduled to open late this year.

Arnold said the menu is small: taco, burrito and burrito bowl. Diners can individualize orders with various toppings and combinations. That is what makes it different from other Mexican restaurants, such as Tijuana Flats, Arnold said. Tijuana Flats is a couple of blocks north on Fourth Street.

Steve Ells, a chef, started Chipotle in 1993. Fast food titan McDonald's owns 90 percent of the company.

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