Garbanzo opens in Fort Collins today, more in store for 2012

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Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill, the Denver-born fast-casual chain, is opening its first location in Fort Collins today. This is the company's thirteenth store, with another slated to open in Colorado Springs later in the month.

Come 2012, Garbanzo hopes to award its first franchises and expand outside of Colorado. Currently, the store's locations are all within the state, and all owned by the company.

"I never could have imagined that armed with recipes from my grandmother's kitchen and a vision to bring fast-casual Mediterranean food to the United States, we would be where we are today," founder and CEO Alon Mor.

The first Garbanzo location opened at 8547 East Arapahoe Road in Englewood in 2007.

"I think it's a different concept. People are used to fast casual that's been around for a while, but not fast-casual Mediterranean," says Garbanzo spokeswoman Beth Hardy. "They are learning it and learning that the tastes are wonderful."

And some new tastes are just around the corner, too, with an updated menu coming in October. While the changes haven't been finalized, Hardy says the new dishes will fall under the "warm and hearty for the winter months" category: things like portobello mushrooms, dolmas (grape leaves stuffed with a flavored rice mix) and a chicken tagine soup. They're being tested at stores around town; if you want a taste, you can find the dolmas at the University Hills and Highland locations. The soup will be at the original shop in Englewood and Littleton, and the portobello mushrooms will be in Englewood, Boulder and Aurora.

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