The ever-expanding Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill, a home-grown, fast-casual restaurant chain, just opened its seventh location at 600 South Colorado Boulevard in the newly-renovated Cherry Creek Hotel, and plans to open eight more Colorado locations in 2010.
The newest location is next to a Panera Bread, which makes sense since Centennial-based Garbanzo is a joint effort between Alon Mor, who founded the concept three years ago, and Ken Rosenthal, who owns the Panera franchise rights for Colorado and Ohio and operates 74 of the company's restaurants in the two states.
Garbanzo serves pitas, shwarma, falafel hummus and other mixed Mediterranean specialties with a healthy (no trans fat, no preservatives) bent. "Denver is the perfect demographic for this kind of healthy cuisine," says company spokeswoman Carol Toffolon.
The next opening is slated for April in the former Peaberry Coffee at 3453 West 32nd Avenue, in Highland Square. After that, Garbanzo will open restaurants in Colorado Springs, Lone Tree and at 2466 South Colorado.
Last October, the company announced that it would begin selling franchise rights in other states. According to Toffolon, Garbanzo is now close to signing its first franchisee.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.