At 51 Broadway, burgers will soon be replaced with burritos.
In April, Salsa Fresca — a fast-casual Mexican restaurant — will open in the space formerly occupied by Educated Burgher, Salsa Fresca co-owner Marc Miles confirmed Thursday evening.
Since Educated Burgher closed its doors last June, the space has remained vacant, with no official word on the space’s fate. Tom Vitagliano, who owns the 51 Broadway address, said he was pleased when Salsa Fresca expressed interest in the location because he feels that the franchise will serve the student population.
“They’re going to do very well there — I think its sufficient to say that that style of restaurant is very much in vogue,” said Vitagliano. “They have a higher quality standard, fresher food than Chipotle.”
Based in New York, Salsa Fresca currently has three restaurants, with locations in Bedford Hills, Mamaroneck and Yorktown Heights. The company is also planning to open another location in Danbury, Conn. The restaurant will serve made-to-order burritos, tacos, salads and quesadillas, as well as other fixed menu items. Meals at Salsa Fresca, according to the current website, range from $7–8. Miles said he believes that New Haven is an ideal location for Salsa Fresca because the selling point is compatible with a student budget, and it offers a healthy selection of food for college-age customers.
Vitagliano said that Chipotle approached him four or five years ago and expressed a desire to establish one of its own restaurants at the location. But Vitagliano noted that because Educated Burgher was still in business, he declined Chipotle’s offer.
On Jan. 12, a permit from the city appeared on the storefront indicating the city’s authorization for construction on the unit to begin. As of last night, store owners on Broadway interviewed said they had only heard rumors of the restaurant, but received no official word.
Chris Mejias, the manager of Denali on Broadway, said that he had recently heard that the space would open as a Mexican restaurant after talks of Educated Burgher’s re-opening died down.
David Norris, a principal and financial partner of Salsa Fresca, said the New Haven location is special to him because his father, George Norris ’39, claimed to have had “arguably the happiest years of his life” at Yale.
Students interviewed expressed interest in another dining option close to campus.
Josh Altman ’17 said that he was excited to see a new business come to Broadway that is affordable for students.
“I’m happy to hear that there are more restaurants coming to Broadway because I think it will generate a lot of student interest and I hope that students will be the patrons,” Altman said. “Hopefully this new restaurant will be a great new addition to late night options in New Haven.”
Moe Gad, manager at Tomatillo across the street at 320 Elm St., said that he isn’t concerned about the potential competition from Salsa Fresca’s arrival.
“Competition is always good; it keeps me on my toes,” Gad said.