DeKALB – Customers craving a quick bite of Mexican food have been pulling on the doors of Qdoba Mexican Grill this week only to find them locked.
Qdoba, the fast-serve Mexican restaurant at 2383 Sycamore Road in DeKalb’s Oakland Place shopping center, closed this week. Meanwhile, Verizon Wireless is expanding into vacant spaces in the same building.
The restaurant is dark inside and the hours sign has been removed from the front doors, but there’s no sign indicating the restaurant has served its last burrito.
Tony Riddle, a contractor working on the Verizon Wireless expansion next door, said he saw people moving furniture out of the store this week.
“One day the doors were locked,” Riddle said. “They didn’t put a closed sign up, so customers keep coming up to the door wondering what’s going on.”
The restaurant was run by franchisees, who could not be reached for comment Thursday. Qdoba’s corporate office declined to comment on the reason the restaurant closed.
Mid-America Asset Management serves as the landlord for the building. The Qdoba space is listed for lease on Mid-America’s website.
Qdoba is the third tenant to leave to the building in a little more than a year. In March 2013, Caribou Coffee closed its location in the building, directing customers to the location inside Hy-Vee at 2700 DeKalb Ave. in Sycamore. GameStop closed its location there in September, although it still operates a store across the street at 2564 Sycamore Road.
Although two businesses moved out of the building last year, Qdoba will be the only vacant space.
Verizon Wireless manager Leonard Loverher said his store is expanding to create an “experience store” in the spaces that were vacated last year.
He expects construction to be finished by the end of July, adding the store will be open through construction in the space on the north side of the building.
“It’s going to be great,” Loverher said. “It will be a great experience for the customers.”
Roger Hopkins, economic development consultant for the city of DeKalb, said the former Qdoba space would be ideal for a casual dining establishment specializing in smoothies or frozen yogurt.
He said the success of recent additions in the same shopping complex only bolsters his notion a new tenant will lease the space soon.
“I believe Five Below and DSW have really energized that area,” Hopkins said. “The corridor is doing quite well.”