Denver-based Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill is heading south to open its first stores outside of Colorado: in San Antonio and Austin, Texas. These are also Garbanzo's first franchise operations.
The chain, which Alon Mor started in 2007, specializes in delectable fast-casual Mediterranean cuisine; I reviewed the location on South Colorado two weeks ago, and was impressed by the freshly prepared pitas, the free falafel and the perfect babaganoush. Texans should be, too.
Garbanzo has signed a deal with Texas-based franchisee Blue Jean Food Group (BJFG), a family-owned and -operated restaurant group that already owns Pelican's Landing, a full-service seafood restaurant in Port Aransas, Texas. "Expanding the concept beyond the borders of Colorado is a major landmark in the history of Garbanzo," says Bob Bafundo, Garbanzo director of franchise development and operations.
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And this is not the only deal in the works for the company, which has fourteen stores in Colorado. "Our brand has received consistent interest from experienced franchisees since its inception in 2007, and we have been very fortunate to sign deals with numerous groups across the country," Bafundo continues. "We only see that interest continuing to grow as more and more companies recognize the demand and enthusiasm for fast-casual Mediterranean in their areas. This year will be one of many firsts for Garbanzo franchising as we enter new markets, and we look forward to announcing those deals over the next few months."
Garbanzo is also eying the Washington D.C./Baltimore area for future expansion, while it continues to open new stores here in Colorado.