Greater City Providence

BDH Would Love a Chipotle…

View Larger Map

The editorial page for the Brown Daily Herald has a great suggestion for the now closed Roba Dolce spot on Thayer Street – a Chipotle

“Wait!” you might say. “Isn’t there a Chipotle coming to the old, vacant house on Thayer where Estas Video (pictured above) used to be? And wasn’t it going to be really cool with rooftop dining and everything? There’s even a fence around it, really to go for demolition!”

That’s what I had thought too, but apparently I haven’t been following the news close enough… Actually, that project seems to be dead. The BDH editorial details the how lawsuits from other (uber-mediocre) eateries on Thayer Street (that’s you, Andreas, Johnny Rockets, and Gordito) helped kill that proposal.

How to then secure a college student’s right to a good burrito? They suggest Chipotle move into the Roba Dolce space. That sounds like a well deserved “thanks a lot, ‘ya bums” solution for the other, um, “eateries” for helping leave us with yet another empty building here in town and for killing what looked like a good project. Seems like I’ll need to join a certain GC:PVD member’s Thayer Street boycott for Andreas, Johnny Rockets, and Gordito…

Bret Ancowitz


  • That’s unfortunate. Thayer Street is one of those places that can handle just about as much retail as anyone could throw at it, including restaurants. I’m not a big fan of Chipotle, and would rather see a local burrito joint go in, but the other restaurants are cutting their nose to spite their face if they think that keeping a known money maker out of the area is somehow going to benefit them.

    Such small thinkers. 🙁

  • Funny how the places that were fighting Chipotle are places I have no interest in going to and actually fuel my boycott.

    As long as Nice Slice is there, I find it hard to keep to my boycott.

  • We had actually considered that spot recently to relocate Hydrogen2Foxygen, and from speaking with the realtor I’m under the impression that the owner of the building was the ultimate killer in the Chipotle deal. Again, this is third (or fourth?) party information and I can not guarantee it as fact.

  • I really miss Spike’s as well. There’s only one left here in Providence, in Hopkin’s Square. There used to be three I think, and a quick look at Spike’s website shows there are now more branches in MA than RI. I think they (Spike’s) would be perfect at the looong vacant deli space in Wayland Square (although that might not jive with the upcoming high-end realty business next to it).

    Other Thayer businesses worth not boycotting include Sushi Express (best sushi in the city possibly, they’re a mom-and-pop business with connect 4 for you to play while waiting for takeout) and the good folks at Kabob and Curry.

    Roba Dolce was a great concept for that space… Too bad they got somewhat loud, cheesy, and expensive towards the end. Given the remarkable existing diversity of dining in that short strip (Chinese, multiple Japanese, burger [coming], cafes, pizza places, middle-eastern, wings, caribbean, sports bar, vietnamese, crepes, etc) what I think would work best there would be a noodle shop or a great deli (be it NY, Jewish-style, Italian, etc).

  • Yikes…

    If Chipotle came to Thayer, I would be broke buying burrito bowls everyday.

    I guess I am asking for it by praying for Chipotle’s move-in soon.

    And about Thayer’s eateries, I have to say that Sushi Express is NOT good sushi, by any standards. Shanghai is not a good substitute for authentic Chinese.

    What Thayer needs MOST is a good Ramen place. Or a Chipotle, ha!

  • The Blog Daily Herald (the Brown Daily Herald’s Blog) reports that Chipotle is indeed finally coming to Thayer Street. They report it will be “across from the Brown Bookstore.” I’m not sure if that means where Geoff’s used to be or where Roba Dolce used to be, but either way, I’m sure we’ll be able to find.

    Coincidentally, the building where Esta’s Video used to be, where Chipotle was originally rumored to be headed (at the expense of tearing down said building) is now being renovated.

    Now, finally, I will be able to learn what all the Chipotle fuss is about.

  • Think yummy goodness in the form of a big burrito that may have some undesirable after effects.

Providence, RI
6:14 am5:40 pm EDT
Feels like: 54°F
Wind: 9mph ENE
Humidity: 65%
Pressure: 30.42"Hg
UV index: 2
50°F / 45°F
55°F / 41°F
45°F / 34°F