Montana’s first Chipotle Mexican Grill will open at 11 a.m. Thursday in the West Park Promenade at 1601 Grand Ave. in Billings.

Fans of the Denver-based chain have been buzzing about its opening since Chipotle began construction of a $563,000 building last September. In January, the restaurant chain pinpointed an April opening but had not settled on a date.

“Our new restaurant openings typically draw a lot of people, especially when we are open in a new city like Billings, so I expect there will be quite a few people out the first day,” Chipotle spokeswoman Danielle Winslow wrote in an email.

The Billings shop will have 25 employees.

Founded in 1993, Chipotle is one of the country’s fastest-growing chains and has a large following. The restaurants, which are all corporate-owned, serve Mexican-style burritos, burrito bowls, tacos, chips and salsa, and salads.

Chipotle is the second new chain restaurant to open in Billings this year. In February, Popeyes chicken opened on Billings South Side. Lines were so long that some customers waited more than two hours for their food.

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