What is it about Chipotle Mexican Grill that inspires a nearly fanatical love, one that rivals the love affair between William and Kate, Kim and Kanye, John Travolta and massage therapists? Starting today, Charleston Chipotle newbies will get to find out now that the Denver-based chain has opened its first Lowcountry store. You can find it at 7398 Rivers Ave. in North Charleston.

Not surprisingly, the place was mobbed like an Apple store on the iDay release of the latest iPad. And a good number of those folks were diehard fans, who had been anxiously awaiting the grand opening of the Rivers Avenue Chipotle ever since the company announced in January they would be opening two restaurants in the Charleston area. “I looked it up online a couple months ago and got really excited when I found out they were coming,” said die-hard Chipotle fan Jimmy Elderman. “Needless to say, I’ve been counting down the days until today.” The second location in Mt. Pleasant is expected to open in November.

Others made the trip to the brand-new North Chuck fast food joint to find out what all the hot-sauce hubbub was about. “I’m very happy about there being a Chipotle here. Now I don’t have to drive all the way to Columbia,” said Lauren Barber of Summerville, who was trying Chipotle for the first time. “I’ve heard really good things about it — that’s why I’m here.”

One Chipotle fan, Caitlin Sullivan, even managed to make it to yesterday’s soft opening. “I work down the street, so I’ve been driving by everyday watching the construction and waiting for it to finally open,” Sullivan said. “I’m happy that day is here.”

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