CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46) - Add a lil phat to your day- a sign, or as some would like to say, a piece of history that will live on through the hearts and minds of many South End residents.
The popular Phat Burrito in South End is officially closing its doors after nearly 20 years of providing Southwestern-style Mexican food.
The eatery, which helped in the rebirth of South End, will shut down forever at 3 p.m. on Saturday.
Opening and closing manager Kahlon Suddler says parking was an ongoing issue. Business growth was hindered because there are not enough parking spots to accommodate the amount of people coming in and out.
He also said with increasing industrialization and other businesses leaving the area, like Common Market, it's been rough to maintain Phat Burrito.
"I feel it's a blow because the whole block is gone," Suddler said. "Everything that makes South End stand is pretty much gone."
Crowds of people can be seen waiting in line for something delicious, whether its a chicken burrito or cheese quesadilla. But since this is the norm - it's nothing unusual to see the place even more packed just before it closes up shop.
Some Charlotte residents say they will miss the restaurant's food. Others say closing down the joint will ruin South End's unique vibe.
"The culture of Phat Burrito, you go in there, everyone has their own little flavor, little hipster vibe which I like. It's just one of those staples in South End, so definitely sad to see it go," Ryden Bell said.
Bell, shocked by the news, says the food at Phat Burrito is nothing sort of delicious. He hopes it will reopen somewhere nearby.
"I think it's actually really sad," said Jenna Land. "I love localism and local business opportunities and I think that anytime development happens or there's progress, unfortunately we lose little gems like this place."
The Charlotte Observer reports that Phat Burrito is the latest in a series of original businesses in South End that has fallen victim to growing redevelopment.
Kahlon, along with other residents, would like to see something replace Phat Burrito that will enhance South End's atmosphere both look and feel. What they don't want is another apartment complex or franchise to take its spot.
Despite the reasons for the closing, Kahlon wants his regular customers to know he appreciates them and will miss seeing them enjoy a classic phat burrito.