Chipotle Mexican Grill has begun construction of its second location along Route 1 in Mercer County.

Construction has begun on turning the former location of Outback Steakhouse in Mercer Mall into a Chipotle Mexican Grill. (Staff photo by Jamie Griswold.)

The new restaurant will go into a 2,523-square-foot space in Lawrence Township’s Mercer Mall. It will open in Winter 2020, Chipotle spokesperson Regina Wu said in an email.

The suite was subdivided from a restaurant pad site formerly occupied by Outback Steakhouse. The Outback closed in February 2017 as part of a larger effort by parent company Bloomin Brands to close underperforming restaurants.

The remaining 2,407 square feet of the former Outback Steakhouse remains vacant at this time, according to Federal Realty, the mall’s owner. The two units are connected to Bonefish Grill in a building constructed in 2013 in the former location of Chevy’s and Casa Lupita.

Once open, the new Chipotle will find plenty of competition in the area, with Moe’s Southwest Grill, Qdoba and even another Chipotle franchise all within two miles. The first Chipotle in Mercer County is located in West Windsor, along Route 1 North.

Chipotle is not the only new tenant coming to Mercer Mall in the near future. Bassett Furniture will open its Lawrence location Friday, Sept. 6 in the 13,316-square-foot suite formerly occupied by Lemonpop, a clothing store. It’s the first venture into Mercer County for the Virginia-based furniture retailer.