Taco brawl! New burrito chain challenges Chipotle Downtown

Taco brawl! New burrito chain challenges Chipotle Downtown
Photo by Jason Speakman

It’s a Mexican standoff!

An upstart fast-food burrito chain opened a new outlet Downtown last week — and the newcomer says it is guac-ed and loaded for a showdown with tortilla tycoon Chipotle, which has already rolled out three outposts in the area.

“I think we’re a better burrito, we’re not afraid to come and compete with them,” said Oliver Kremer, co-founder of Dos Toros, which opened the doors to its Court Street store on Wednesday.

The new salsa slinger in town fired the first shot on its opening day, offering its stuffed tortillas for only $1, which drew a line around the block between Joralemon and Livingston streets.

Many customers said they were Chipotle devotees lured to Dos Toros by the day-one discount, but are now considering defecting permanently.

“Chipotle is good, but this is really good,” said East Flatbush resident Lawrence Jackman, who said that he would now choose Dos Toros over the colossal Colorado chain, which has an outlet further down Court Street, as well as one on Montague Street, and one at MetroTech.

But Big Burrito says it can handle the heat.

“Regardless of the nature of competition at a given location, we have always believed that our restaurants will do well if we are running them as well as we are capable of,” said Chipotles’s communication director Chris Arnold. “This is no exception.”

Kremer and brother Leo opened their first Dos Toros in Manhattan in 2009 and now have eight stores around the city, including a Williamsburg outpost the siblings opened in 2013.

Oliver Kremer said he first visited the Court Street locale while scoping out spots for their latest taqueria and was blown away by the bustling commercial stretch, where cult exercise chain Soul Cycle, makeup empire Sephora, and Neiman Marcus outlet store Last Call have recently set up shop.

“My broker told me to come check out this place out and I was just like, ‘Oh my god,’ — it’s really busy, a lot of cool companies — Soul Cycle just opened up here, Equinox, and all the gyms,” he said. “It’s a cool area, I think there is a demand for burritos here.”

Dos Toros (64 Court St. between Joralemon Street and Livingston Street Downtown, www.dostoros.com).

Reach reporter Harry MacCormack at hmaccormack@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow him on Twitter @HMacBKPaper.
New digs: Downtown denizens line up for their lunch at Dos Toros’ opening day.
Photo by Jason Speakman