Forest Park’s first-ever Chipotle location is expected to be open for business sometime next summer.
The chain is building a location at 7201 Madison St., the northwest corner of the intersection of two major Forest Park commercial corridors – Harlem Avenue and Madison Street. While Chipotle has locations in the neighboring Oak Park and Berwyn, this will be the first location in Forest Park village proper. It will also stand out because it will require drive-thru customers to order ahead using the company app.
As previously reported by the Review, the location will have what the restaurant chain is calling a “Chipotlane.” Instead of a traditional drive-thru, where customers drive up to the restaurant to make their orders, customers will need to order ahead of time using their app and pick it up at the drive-thru window. The company debuted the concept in 2018, putting them in over 100 locations by 2021. Other Chicago area locations with app only ordering are in Lockport, Aurora and Elgin. Chipotle’s July 20 quarterly report, the most recent available quarterly report, touted Chipotlanes as one of the major drivers of the company’s 10.5 percent growth in digital sales, which accounted for 48.5 percent of the company’s overall sales.
“These formats continue to perform very well and are helping enhance guest access and convenience, as well as increase new restaurant sales, margins, and returns,” the report said.
The restaurant will still have a traditional dining room and 23 parking spaces. Under the agreement with the property owner, the site will also get a “Welcome to Forest Park” sign on the corner. The intersection currently doesn’t have any signage indicating to drivers, bus riders and pedestrians heading west on Madison Street they are entering the village, though there are smaller banners touting the Madison Street corridor.
In addition to sitting at the intersection of two major west suburban corridors, the new Chipotle will be located at a transfer point between Pace bus Route 307, which continues south on Harlem Avenue toward southwest suburban Bridgeview Transit Center, and Route 318, which turns west to serve the Madison Street corridor and the Forest Park Blue Line ‘L’ station.
Forest Park Director of Public Health and Safety Steve Glinke previously expressed his full support for the project, describing it as a “no-brainer” during the Feb. 8 village council meeting.
The project is currently in the early stages of construction. Chipotle spokesperson Tyler Benson said that the restaurant expects to open the Forest Park location “at some point in the summer of 2022,” adding that the company couldn’t discuss any further details at this time.