Noe Valley Voice November 1998

It's a Wrap for WrapWorks:
La Salsa Burrito Chain to Open in Wraps' Space

By Pat Rose

Say goodbye to "Ken and Barbecue" and "Coat and Thai Chicken," those designer wraps with the pun-laden names served up by WrapWorks on 24th Street.

Chevy's Restaurants Inc., the national chain that owns WrapWorks, has shut down four of its five San Francisco stores, including the 24th Street tortilla parlor, which opened less than a year and a half ago. (The chain will keep its Big City Wraps store in Embarcadero Center, but has closed the WrapWorks outlets on Union, Fillmore, and Castro streets.)

In September, Chevy's sold the local WrapWorks leases to La Salsa, a burrito chain based in Los Angeles. The 24th Street store, located a half block from Castro, is currently under construction while La Salsa revamps the interior.

According to Paul Banbury, Chevy's Vice President of New Concepts, the WrapWorks chain was never profitable in the Bay Area.

"The sales just weren't there," said Banbury. "The wrap business was so well developed, even overdeveloped, in this part of the country, there were too many players," he said, citing World Wraps as a major competitor.

The wrap "trend" is over in California, while in other parts of the country like Washington, D.C., the idea is still a novelty, Banbury told the Voice. "We have three WrapWorks in D.C. that are working well. The trend just hasn't hit D.C. like it already has here."

Steven Roth, who's in charge of real estate and construction for La Salsa, said the burrito chain had been well received in other parts of the Bay Area, including San Bruno, Burlingame, San Mateo, and Oakland.

"We're excited to be going into San Francisco," said Roth. "We offer a classic-style Mexican menu with all fresh food and vegetarian items as well."

La Salsa will serve burritos, tacos, quesadillas, and nachos seven days a week. Hours of operation will be from 11 a.m. until 9 or 10 at night.

Roth said he expected the new La Salsa on 24th Street to open its doors at the end of October or first of November.