Mexican Grill Closes, Chipotle Coming To White Plains

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Pancheros, located at 38 Mamaroneck Ave. in White Plains, closed in recent days.
Pancheros, located at 38 Mamaroneck Ave. in White Plains, closed in recent days. Photo Credit: Brian Donnelly
Frank and Maria Berisha react to Pancheros closing and Chipotle Mexican Grill coming into White Plains.
Frank and Maria Berisha react to Pancheros closing and Chipotle Mexican Grill coming into White Plains. Photo Credit: Brian Donnelly

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – Pancheros Mexican Grill closed in the last few days, a little more than a month before the 130-room Cambria Suites opens with 47,000 square feet of retail, including Chipotle Mexican Grill.

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Which Mexican Grill has better food?

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  • Pancheros

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Residents walking by on Monday, May 12,  looked curiously at the now empty storefront at 38 Mamaroneck Ave. While most said they prefer Chipotle, others said they didn’t want to see another one of the small guys go by the wayside.

Pancheros has four other locations, all in New Jersey.

“This is the whole story everywhere,” said Frank Berisha, who has worked as a concierge in White Plains. “Do you remember when there wasn’t Home Depot? There were little mom and pop hardware stores everywhere. Home Depot came and there was not one around anywhere. That’s what’s happening with everything.”

Berisha’s wife, Maria, agreed, saying she doesn’t like cookie-cutter chains.

“I rather have authentic little places,” she said.

Pancheros' traffic never built as much as they would have liked and informed the city that they would be leaving before shutting down in recent days, Mayor Thomas Roach said.

“The food they had in Pancheros wasn’t as good as Chipotle,” said Bo Mzila, who added he was excited about the new Chipotle.

Ski Carter, of White Plains, agreed, saying he liked the name Pancheros, but that the one time he did eat there he didn’t like it.

“Every time I walk by it’s empty,” he said. “Even on a Saturday it’s empty.”

The Cambria Suites development will include 30,000 square feet of retail in the hotel building and another 17,000 square feet in an adjoining building.

With Pancheros gone, what type of business would you like to see replace it? Tell us in the comments section below or tweet us your thoughts @WhitePlainsDV

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Comments (3)

I agree that we have to keep small businesses in business, however I understand why this storefront closed. On a Sunday evening at approx. 6 p.m., I went to Pancheros in hopes for a burrito. With a closing time of 9 p.m. on Sundays, I came to the front to find the doors locked. After repeatedly knocking on the door, an employee came up and signaled "closed." Why on earth would you close your doors at 6:30 p.m. on a Sunday when the hours of operation are until 9 p.m? Poor customer service closed this place, not Chipotle.

The other side of the coin is that White Plains is the only municipality in Westchester that actually has seen a slight increase in the 25-35 demographic. This correlates with the development of downtown. I don't know anyone that says they missed the dry cleaner or dollar store that used to be there. Walkable communities with diverse housing options are a better way to attract residents than single family homes and strip malls.

Whole area losing stores all along Mamaroneck, Main and Post. Rents are too high for stores to compete when the area is saturated with retail stores and restaurants. No reason to keep building new structures taking away all the green areas. Park next to Grace Church is still not open. Cambria suites construction has taken too long and the business hotel near Galleria is now rentals. And, the city approved more construction across from Bloomingdales'. Streets and sidewalks are a mess. Stop the madness.