Dining With Denise Neil

Peace out: Wichita’s two Freebirds World Burrito stores close

Don’t forget me! A burrito-clutching Statue of Liberty waits to be loaded on the moving truck outside of Freebirds World Burritos at Central and Hillside.
Don’t forget me! A burrito-clutching Statue of Liberty waits to be loaded on the moving truck outside of Freebirds World Burritos at Central and Hillside. The Wichita Eagle

Wichita’s two Freebirds World Burrito stores are closed.

On Thursday, customers started reporting that the stores, which were at 410 N. Hillside and 2530 N. Greenwich Road, were both closed. No one answered the phone at either store, and both restaurants’ Facebook pages indicated they were “permanently closed.”

At 21st and Greenwich, the store’s windows were covered with paper. And on Hillside, a moving truck was set up outside and crews were removing decor from store.

A replica of the Statue of Liberty clutching a burrito lay precariously on the sidewalk outside the restaurant on Hillside, waiting for her turn into the truck. The outdoor signage had already been removed.

I received a statement on Thursday from Freebirds that read:

“Freebirds World Burritos can confirm that we recently closed our two Wichita locations. It’s never an easy decision for us to close on of our restaurants. We apologize for the inconvenience.”

Freebirds is an Austin-based chain that specialized in build-your-own burritos, similar to Chipotle but with a hippie twist. The Hillside spot opened in June 2013, and the Greenwich store followed in March 2014. Both were opened by Overland Park-based Freebirds franchisee FB Midwest Development.

A look at ten of the Wichita restaurants that closed in 2016. (video by Jaime Green)

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