Campus & Community / Magazine Feature

Blockbuster rolls credits, signals Noodles and Company’s DU neighborhood debut

Broomfield-based Noodles & Company is preparing to open a new restaurant in an East Evans Avenue location previously occupied by a Blockbuster video store.

Blockbuster stopped renting DVDs and other items on April 20. The departure clears the way for Noodles to finalize lease arrangements and to see about renovations to the property.

“We’re moving forward with it,” says Matt Wagner, communications manager for Noodles. “As far as I know, we are looking at an opening date somewhere between the middle of September to the middle of November.”

The move would be part of a flurry of Noodles restaurant openings, some 20 of which are expected to begin operations in 2009, Wagner said. Presently, the chain has 36 stores in Colorado and 207 nationwide.

“This is one of our most anticipated sites for 2009. And we’re not looking to slow down in 2010,” Wagner says. “We’re one of the shining stars of these unique economic times.”

Among reasons for the company’s success was sewing up credit before the recession hit, Wagner says.

How the company can market its stores is the subject of a 10-week study by a group of master’s level students at Daniels College of Business. The marketing analysis is under the supervision of lecturer Peter Lathrop and is in cooperation with Noodles CEO Kevin Reddy, whose daughter is a freshman at DU.

The new Noodles restaurant at 1737 E. Evans Ave. will be similar to the company’s other stores, Wagner says. The restaurant boasts “fresh, wholesome, balanced, fast” Asian, American and Mediterranean dishes for about six or seven dollars.

Also on the drawing board is a 15–20 person outdoor patio on the east side of the building. The patio has been in place since the location operated as Chesapeake bagel in 1996, but permission to use it ended when the bagel store left. On April 7, the Denver Board of Adjustment granted a variance to property owner Robert Wiss for an awning, lighting and seating appropriate to outdoor dining. The approval removed an obstacle to Noodles leasing the premises.

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