July 20, 2018

Second tenant closes in Hartford’s Front St. district

PHOTO | Steve Laschever
PHOTO | Steve Laschever
Qdoba Mexican Eats restaurant district manager Jeff Badger.

Qdoba Mexican Grill said it has closed its downtown Hartford Front Street location, becoming the second tenant to flee the young retail-entertainment district.

The Denver-based fast-casual Mexican restaurant chain could not be immediately reached Friday to explain the closure.

Qdoba is the Front Street district's second tenant to leave its space after Nix's restaurant was evicted in Nov. 2017 for failing to pay back rent. Front Street landlord and developer HB Nitkin Group of Greenwich on Friday said it has a tenant lined up for 26 Front St., Qdoba's address, but would not reveal its name.

After recently closing its Westport eatery, Qdoba's sole remaining Connecticut location is 345 North Main St. in West Hartford, its website says.

In 2014, Qdoba leased the 2,600-square-foot space on Front Street next to Infinity Hall before its grand opening in 2015. Other Front Street restaurants include Capital Grille, Ted's Montana Grill, Bear's Smokehouse Barbecue, and eateries inside Infinity Hall and Spotlight Theaters.

Qdoba had been owned by Jack in the Box Inc. since 2003, but was sold to to private-equity firm Apollo Global Management in Dec. 2017 for $305 million, according to CNN.

HB Nitkin Group signed Spotlight Theater as Front Street district's first tenant in 2012, and welcomed UConn's adjacent new campus in Aug. 2017, which promised to bring 2,000 or so UConn faculty, staff, pupils and other downtown patrons.

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