Restaurant owners are planning a grand opening for Bethesda’s new California Tortilla, and the date is tentatively set for Sept. 27.
The chain's Bethesda store -- the first to open of about 35 locations in the Washington, DC area and the Northeast – opened at 4862 Cordell Avenue in 1995.
The chain is planning a re-branded look at its new location at 4871 Cordell in the old Cesco Trattoria space. Though it’s right across the street, the corner location will afford the restaurant lots more visibility, said owner Pam Felix.
“It’s really going to emphasize the freshness of the food,” Felix said of the new space. “There’s going to be an open prep kitchen where you can see the cooks making the fresh salsa and fresh guacamole.”
Aside from the display kitchen, the new location will feature lots of patio seating, booths, and beer and wifi, so patrons will feel encouraged to hang out for a bit.
“It’s going to be sort of a cozy place,” Felix said. “It’s going to have a little bit of a different feel.”
Also different is the branding. Loyal customers will notice the chain’s reds and oranges – which Felix lovingly referred to as “circus colors” – toned down, and more green in its place to represent freshness and CalTort’s signature guacamole.
“I loved the old colors, but I thought it was just time for a change after 17 years,” Felix said.
During the grand opening, the store will offer free burritos, and the first 10 people in line will be offered one free burrito a week for a year, Felix said.
Are you looking forward to the opening of the new California Tortilla? What do you think of the chain’s re-branding? Tell us in the comments.