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Urban Orchard Closing, May Be Replaced By Corporate Chain Chipotle

urban_Orchard1The local boutique grocer in Andersonville, Urban Orchard at 5212 N. Clark, will be closing their doors at the end of January, 2015. The small store with an adjoining cafe was founded on the belief that high quality food should be available every day.

Eric Mazzone and Jim Machniak, who opened the Andersonville store in 2012, had a vision of a green grocer for people who wanted to shop at a “farmer’s market” style shop seven days a week. They partnered with several high quality farms all around the Midwest and deliver fresh foods that were grown in the Midwest region. Their store supports sustainable organic farming for farmers and food artisans in Michigan, Wisconsin and Indiana.

With rising rents on Clark St., the smaller businesses are finding it harder to stay alive. Now it looks as though the location could possibly be the corporate fast food chain Chipotle. The rumor is that the deal is just about done. If this is true, the busy blocks on the Andersonville strip between Foster and Berwyn (which were previously void of corporate stores) will see two chains pop up in 2015. Giordano’s is already gutting the previous Ann Sather space across the street from Urban Orchard.

It is a hotly debated issue in the Edgewater area, where local businesses are usually praised and corporate chains frowned upon. “Local First” has been a proud motto and is the driving force of the neighborhood’s quick rise in popularity the last decade. However, many feel the corporate influx into the community will guarantee fewer vacant storefronts and businesses with financial stability.

Any way you look at it, the location’s possible metamorphosis from the local store Urban Orchard to a mega-corporate chain like Chipotle speaks volumes about where the neighborhood could be headed.

 

**UPDATE***

On January 24, 2015, the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce weighed in on this issue claiming that a Chipotle will not be going into the space at 5212 N. Clark.


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