A new dining option will soon be available for those seeking a fast, affordable meal in a convenient location.
A franchise of the Denver-based Noodles & Company is set to move into the renovated in Bishops Corner this September.
"We are underway; it's already framed out," said franchise owner Robert Barton. He hopes to open the restaurant around Sept. 17, but said the date could change.
Barton, who lives in Avon with his wife and young children, has signed an area development to open six Noodles & Company restaurants, all in Hartford County. The West Hartford location will be the chain's first foray into New England.
"West Hartford is the perfect place to introduce the brand. People will definitely hear about it," said Barton, who said he loves the busy Bishops Corner area and the revitalization going on in Marshall's Plaza.
Although this will be Barton's first Noodles & Company, as former owner of a Five Guys franchise he has experience with the fast casual market. Barton sold his share of the local Five Guys franchise, which included the Avon and Farmington locations, about a year ago.
"This is the next thing – the missing niche," said Barton. "There are lots of burger places, especially in West Hartford, and the burger business is great, but I felt that this was the next trend," he said.
Barton liked the Noodles & Company brand, and the fact that the company has been identified as one of the top 10 fastest growing restaurant chains in the country.
Noodles & Company will serve lunch and dinner, with a heavy emphasis on dinner, Barton said. The menu features "fresh sauté" with noodle dishes highlighting American, Asian, and Mediterranean cuisines.
"It's not just noodles," said Barton. The restaurant will also serve sandwiches, salads, and soups, all freshly made to order. They plan to use local produce whenever available. Beer and wine will also be served, with an emphasis on regional brands.
Barton said that outdoor dining will be available beginning next spring on an awning-covered patio. The restaurant will be open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week, he said.
Those interested in a preview can sign up for the Noodles & Company E-Club and receive an invitation to the pre-opening VIP night as well as other special offers.
Noodles & Company is one of on the southwest corner of Albany Ave. and North Main St. The largest new tenant, “Neighborhood Market by Wal-Mart,” will open by late 2012 in the long-vacant 50,000 square foot space once occupied by Adams Supermarket.