UNIVERSITY PARK -- Noodles & Company is planning to open one of its first Southwest Florida locations in the District West at University Town Center in Sarasota County.
The Broomfield, Colo., fast-casual restaurant is expected to file plans for a restaurant at 200 N. Cattlemen Road, as part of Benderson Development's expansion for the shopping center, according to county documents. On its website Noodles & Company, also listed Sarasota as one of its markets actively being developed by a franchisee.
The restaurant will join a growing list of retailers opening across from the Mall at University Town Center beside Best Buy and Super Target, including shoe store DSW, Jos. A Bank, Blaze Fast Fire'd Pizza and an AT&T store, the Herald first reported last month.
Noodles & Company, started in 1995, offers noodle dishes, sandwiches, salads and soups. Diners pick out the kind of noodle they want, like a penna rosa or Japanese pan noodle, and add a protein and sauce to the dish. The noodle dishes typically cost around $8 and no tipping is allowed, according to the restaurant's website.
The chain is headed up by Kevin Reddy, who started out as a cook at a McDonald's when he was a teenager before rising up as a franchise developer for the burger chain. He was active in the development of Chipotle's expansion.
Noodles & Company, now has more than 380 company and franchise owned restaurants in 29 states and the District of Columbia, including two in Orlando that opened
earlier this year. New restaurants typically hire about 30 employees.
When stores open, Noodles runs a First Fifty Fan Club, giving the first 50 people in line swag bags, a free noodles bowl and a card for a free bowl of noodles on a future visit. No opening date has been announced.
Charles Schelle, Herald business reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7095. Follow him on Twitter @ImYourChuck.