“It was devastating when it happened because I had all my eggs in that basket, so to speak,” said Hinton, owner of Bell Street Burritos, which opened in November 2011.
“They said, ‘We’re going to have a bulldozer there after you move out.’”
He signed a lease and opened the new location on Irwin Street in the Old Fourth Ward near downtown Atlanta within three weeks, and had to close for one week in between.Business is much better at the new spot, Hinton said, and customers remained loyal.
“There are people on the west side who are now making the trip over here,” he said. “Lots of people from the east side had more of a journey to Howell Mill, but they come a lot more now.”
Once he moved to the new location Sept. 10, Hinton said he realized how important location is for business.“One of the things about the Howell Mill location, which I suppose Advance will discover, is it’s not a corner for doing business,” he said. “Ultimately this whole thing was a real mixed blessing. At the time it was a drag and all of that, but if we had to do it over it again, I would do it in a second.”
Loyal customer Kevin Wallace, who works in Buckhead, said he still goes three to five times a week.“I think, simply put, it’s just the best burrito I ever had,” Wallace said. “I loved the Howell Mill location but this space just feels better. The lighting is better and it feels more neighborhood-y.”
Hinton said he is planning to open another Bell Street between Midtown and Buckhead within the next three or four months.