Baja Fresh of Bel Air Closing Saturday

After nearly 10 years in business, the Mexican restaurant's last day is March 31.


When cashes out its registers and locks its doors on Saturday, it will be for the last time.

The casual sit-down and carryout restaurant, which has been a fixture for nearly 10 years, is closing at the end of the week, a Baja Fresh employee confirmed Wednesday.

The franchise, famous for its massive burritos and self-serve salsa bar, will be missed by frequent patrons like Deborah LaSalvia, who wrote an unsolicited email to Patch about the business.

"We have been going to Baja Fresh at least once a week since they opened, we love the food and the people," LaSalvia wrote.

She also said that the employees are dedicated, hard working and friendly.

"I can't believe that we will be without a Baja Fresh, and that all of the wonderful people who work there have all been suddenly unemployed in this difficult job market," LaSalvia wrote.

Rob March 28, 2012 at 05:07 PM
And nothing of value was lost.
Sarah K March 28, 2012 at 05:33 PM
I loved their pico de gallo! I will miss it for sure! The employees can all apply at the local Wawas! They are all in need of some good applicants!
Andrew March 28, 2012 at 06:52 PM
For a "fast food" chain The location is annoying, 5 minutes to get into parking lot and even more annoying getting out!!!! I'm surprised Chipoltle has lasted in that same annoying situation in Bel Air south
Joseph Shmoe March 28, 2012 at 09:18 PM
What a shame! They will be missed. I would get food from Baja Fresh at least once a week. It was always a refreshing alternative from other "chain" Mexican places.
Karl Schuub March 28, 2012 at 10:32 PM
We ate there too and often. Used to be a couple years ago you could order 2 burritos with various fillings and then add it enchilada style. That's an awesome sauce they pour over the whole thing. This may be a chain but it's a much higher quality chain than many and with lots of heart healthy options. Darn shame really.
Joan Ryder March 29, 2012 at 10:41 AM
We too will miss Baja Fresh. We have gone every week since it opened ten years ago. The kitchen staff, managers and everyone are wonderful people and very generous and helpful. Hopefully they will be okay and find other employment. They are very dedicated souls. So sorry to hear of the closing. Just a sign of the times.
Rachel March 29, 2012 at 11:20 AM
People don't seem to mind getting in and out of Chipoltle..the line is out the door every time we go there!
Rachel March 29, 2012 at 11:21 AM
Sorry to see them go....their food was really good!
Take Responsibility! March 29, 2012 at 11:26 AM
I prefer La Tolteca but sorry to see this place close.
Mary Lloyd March 29, 2012 at 12:46 PM
Went once when they first opened and thought the food was tasteless...never went back.
Paul March 29, 2012 at 01:51 PM
Sad news, such a great place. Food was the best of the popular big 3 mexican food places in the area. Even better than the food was the people who worked there. Robert is always on his A game, rarely do you find people like this in this industry. Going to miss talking hockey with him.
Brian Fitzpatrick March 29, 2012 at 04:25 PM
The food was affordabe as well as delicious. The staff was never unfriendly. They had the best guacamole in town. Sorry to see you go.
VI March 29, 2012 at 07:37 PM
I think it had to be the location. I stopped in for lunch this week and found good value and an unusually friendly and helpful staff. I wondered to myself why I don't frequent the place more and realized it's just not convenient. I did notice a group of people wandering around, talking in hushed tones and taking photos.
Karl Schuub March 29, 2012 at 10:27 PM
This place closes and then we seem to celebrate the opening of a Sonic. Both are chains, but not even close to similar in quality. That is some sad commentary.
John Citzen March 29, 2012 at 11:30 PM
Is there talk of Baja opening somewhere else in Bel Air?? maybe by Wegmans we can only hope.
Karl Schuub March 29, 2012 at 11:41 PM
Apparently there are many Baja Fresh devotees here; they didn't close because the food wasn't good...they closed because not enough of us went there. I'm not so much a chain fan, but his one really is good. It's all fresh - the pork is fabulous...best burritos around no question.
Debbie March 30, 2012 at 04:06 AM
We were told that the landlord of this shopping center was raising the rent so much that they were unwilling to pay it. They are hoping to open in a different location, but may not be until next year.
sp0t March 30, 2012 at 02:01 PM
I never thought I'd say this Karl, but I agree with you. I've always preferred Baja's variety and quality of ingredients over places like Chipotle which essentially offer one burrito with a handful of options. While I can't say I will never eat at Sonic, I agree that there is little to compare between the two.
Karl Schuub March 30, 2012 at 02:40 PM
Often in summer our family would finish the yard work and go get some Baja Burritos, bring them home and sit out back and have our fill. Inexpensive and healthy; steak, pork or chicken...load with lots of cilantro and fresh chopped tomatoes. Great spice to the meat - the pork makes my mouth water just thinking about it. We have some other Mexican Rest. in the area, but if you want a really good burrito, you can't beat the Baja Fresh. Gosh, such a shame. You know how they bring some shows back because everyone clamors...maybe we can put this in reverse. Write in campaign or something!
Karl Schuub March 30, 2012 at 02:54 PM
Debbie - are you associated somehow? I'm hoping that information is real...that there really is an intent to open in another location locally. The next closest Baja is in Lutherville. That would be very disappointing - way too far.
Laurie March 30, 2012 at 08:25 PM
Wawa is a HORRIBLE place to work! Treat their employees like CRAP. Verbally abuse them. Work them to death for low pay and make them work 12 hour shifts with no break. I would be homelesss before working for Wawa again.
Debbie Amsl Rettberg March 31, 2012 at 01:42 AM
My son and I went tonight and I heard the manager say the rent was too high and that is why they were moving and I thought I heard them say they were opening another location in a week. Maybe Kirsten Dize can find out for us. I assumed Abingdon like others, but I have no idea.
Kirsten Dize March 31, 2012 at 06:59 AM
Debbie, I went in tonight and was told by an employee they will not be opening another location, however I have placed calls to the corporate office to see what kind of plans Baja Fresh has for our area. I'm hearing rumors about reasons why they are closing, but nothing confirmed yet.
stephanie carter April 01, 2012 at 10:07 AM
I am a baja fresh employee well I was but the reason we closed was because the landlord raised the rent and we were not willing to pay it. We will not be opening another location for about a year maybe longer depending on when corporate stops arguing about who is gonna have a percentage of what at each store.
stephanie carter April 01, 2012 at 10:09 AM
Btw we did post a sign on the door giving the 2 closet locations that you wouold be able to come visit some of us that worked at the belair store that would be hunt valley and tumoinum
BeStylin April 02, 2012 at 08:00 PM
I only liked BaJa Fresh. I would never go to La Tolteca since the Health Dept paid them a visit. Chipotle uses the dark meat on the chicken (cheap). I don't know where we're gonna celebrate Cinco de Mayo!
Mom of 2 girls in Forest Hill April 25, 2012 at 02:13 PM
My 19 year old daughter and I LOVED Baha, and will miss it very much this Summer. The two of us could split a freshly made burrito of our liking, chips, salsa and a drink for under $10.00 with the $1.00 off coupon on the receipt/survey from a previous order. You can't do that at McDonald's. We enjoy La Tolteca as well, but it it like comparing apples and oranges. Both are delicious in their own right, but very different. Please open a new store in Bel Air or Forest Hill SOON!
Dave June 16, 2012 at 02:59 PM
I am sorry to see them go. They are the only restaurant that reminds me of the tacos I had while working in Mexicali.


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