Young and Hungry

Boloco Burrito Chain Opening in Bethesda

In this town, the Jimmy Carter shake sounds like the former president’s trademark dance move, or maybe his signature greeting. But to Boston-based Boloco, it’s a peanut butter and banana milkshake.

On Friday, the burrito chain will open its first Washington-area location in the former Baja Fresh space at 4930 Elm St. in Bethesda. It's also Boloco's first location outside the New England area. A second D.C.-area shop is coming to 1028 19th St. NW early this fall, with more locations to follow in the future.

Boloco will offer the same menu as in Boston: burritos, bowls, salads, wraps, shakes, and smoothies. The restaurant takes inspiration from around the globe with Bangkok Thai, teriyaki, Mexican, tikka masala, Cajun, and Memphis barbecue flavored burritos and bowls. Customers can also build their own wraps, a la Chipotle.

The fast casual spot also serves breakfast burritos and bowls as well as a New England-inspired milkshake called the “Cape Codder” with cranberries, blueberries, apple juice, raspberry sorbet, and frozen yogurt.

“We’ve been looking in cities beyond New England for a while,” says director of marketing Caitlin Simmons. “This area had similarities to the places that we’re from with a similar demographic that we’re trying to reach.”

Tomorrow, before Boloco officially opens, customers can get free mini or small burrito; the original size will cost $1. At the grand opening July 19, Bethesda-based Honest Tea will give out free samples of its products on site. Later on, Honest Tea will partner with Boloco to test a new brewed iced tea product, Simmons says. Boloco is also participating in the Bethesda Row sidewalk sale this weekend.

Simmons says Boloco is looking to open a third location in the area, possibly near the Georgetown University campus.

Photo by Stephanie Haven

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