Baja Fresh Closes Two Locations

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Some of the observant posters on Bites report that Baja Fresh has closed its store in Green Hills, in the same strip as Maggie Moo's and Ruby Tuesday. It seemed like a pretty lively location to be an economic casualty.

Joan Speckman, manager of operations services and training at the Southern California chain, blamed the closing on "lease issues." She said the same thing was true of the former Baja Fresh in Cool Springs.

Speckman said the location at West End and 17th and the smaller outlet inside the Vanderbilt University Medical Center remain open and that she knew of no plans to close those operations.

Baja Fresh came to the Nashville market in 2001, with the opening of the West End store. It calls its concept "fresh Mexican grill," and says there are no freezers, microwaves, can-openers, MSG or lard used in the open kitchen.

At one time Baja Fresh had the quick-serve burrito and taco market almost to itself, but it now has competition from chains like Qdoba, Chipotle, Moe's, Blue Coast Burrito (spun off from local cafe Baja Burrito), Chile Burrito (locally owned with a place downtown and one in Brentwood) and more. Not to mention the taco trucks that have popped up on Nolensville Road and in other immigrant neighborhoods.

I've always found Baja Fresh to be pretty reliable fast food, but I never get anything besides the chicken taquitos. So in my mind, the Green Hills cafe (with free WiFi) will be missed.

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