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Chipotle to debut new spinoff brand called Farmesa — in ghost food hall

Farmesa will launch in a ghost kitchen food hall in Santa Monica, Calif.

Chipotle Mexican Grill is set to launch a “California-inspired fresh eatery” concept.

The quick-serve restaurant company said it opening a new restaurant, called Farmesa, at Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, Calif. The concept will have a soft opening with an abbreviated menu and limited hours before it is officially opened in March.

Farmesa is located in the Kitchen United Mix food hall at Third Street. (Kitchen United Mix is an updated take on a ghost kitchen. It combines the operations of multiple brands in one central location so that customers can order from different restaurants in one place and brands can try out new concepts, etc. without taking on pricey real estate.)

Farmesa customers will be able to place an order on-site via kiosks at the Kitchen United space or on Kitchen United’s website.  They can also order pickup and delivery through apps such as DoorDash and Uber Eats.

“Launching Farmesa in the Kitchen United Mix food hall in Santa Monica and partnering with third-party partners for pickup or delivery will allow us to reach a large number of consumers, learn quickly, and evolve our concept and menu so that we can deliver on our goals before expanding," said Nate Lawton, VP of new ventures at Chipotle. "We believe there's an opportunity to serve premium, craveable food every day and we're eager to bring this new concept to life."

Farmesa will serve a variety of bowls ranging in price from $11.95 to $16.95. Each bowl will feature a protein, green or grain, two sides, a choice of five sauces and a topping option. The menu was curated by James Beard Award-winning chef Nate Appleman who also serves as the director of culinary innovation at Farmesa, and previously led menu innovations for Chipotle in the mid to late 2000s.

Farmesa is Chipotle’s first new concept since Brian Niccol took the reins of the company in 2018. The company’s previous spinoffs, which included Asian ShopHouse and Tasty Made, went dark in 2017.

“One of our strategic objectives is to create or invest in emerging culinary spaces and restaurant concepts that fit within Chipotle's food with integrity mission and make fresh food daily," said Niccol. "Our New Ventures team, which was created in 2022, developed a unique restaurant concept that uses classic culinary techniques with flavorful ingredients in a fast-casual setting that we're excited to test and learn on before we determine a broader rollout strategy."

[Read More: Chipotle looking to hire 15,000 workers]

Chipotle had nearly 3,200 restaurants as of December 31, 2022, in the United StatesCanada, the United KingdomFrance and Germany. It is the only restaurant company of its size that owns and operates all its restaurants.

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