After "steady requests for years," the D.C.-based Mexican restaurant District Taco will open its first location in Maryland at Riverdale Park Station this fall, said Abby Campbell, the restaurant's marketing manager.
"Our followers aren't shy about telling us where they want to see us," Campbell said. "The College Park area has been mentioned to us several times, whether it be in person, on social media or by email."
The restaurant offers environmentally friendly, fresh and healthy food, with breakfast served all day, according to its website.
District Taco CEO Osiris Hoil signed a lease for the Riverdale Park location in June 2016, according to the restaurant's website. The restaurant has since opened new locations in places such as Washington's Tenleytown neighborhood, and most recently, Tysons Corner, Virginia.
Some University of Maryland students expressed excitement for District Taco to open its doors in the College Park area.
"We don't have many Mexican cuisine options other than the Chipotle right there on Route 1," said Dominique Janifer, a junior journalism major. "We have so many pizza spots and sandwich shops, so it would be nice to have some diversity in food in this area."
The restaurant's neighboring vendors, which include Whole Foods and Starbucks, will attract students to eat at District Taco, said Daphne O'Grady, a senior animal science major.
"I would choose this restaurant over the Taco Bell in Stamp or Chipotle because it's new and in a new shopping center that I want to visit," O'Grady said.
The other retailers and restaurants in Riverdale Park Station played a role in the decision to open District Taco in the College Park area, Campbell said, adding that the proximity to the nation's capital will "help to test the waters as we expand and go further out from our base."
Campbell said she expects the Riverdale Park location to succeed because "college students are great customers" and cited the Tenleytown location, which she said is a popular choice for students at American University.
Regan Shanahan, a sophomore communication major who is a pescatarian, said she gets "tired of eating all the same foods in College Park" and "probably would check it out" if District Taco's menu accommodates her dietary restriction.
District Taco prides itself on offering a "customizable" menu, Campbell said.
"We feel that we have an option for everybody, whether it be that you have dietary restrictions or you're pickier," Campbell said. "You have your choice to basically customize any of our menu options any way you want."
With each grand opening, District Taco hosts an all-day fundraiser for a local organization, and it's in the process of selecting an organization for the Riverdale Park location, Campbell said. For example, the restaurant held the grand opening fundraiser at its Tysons Corner location for Wolf Trap Animal Rescue.
District Taco will post updates on its social media accounts and hopes to announce the opening of the Riverdale Park location in the coming weeks, Campbell said.