A bar-rito from Protein Bar.
A bar-rito from Protein Bar.

Noodles & Company and Protein Bar Expand; Qdoba Gets Smothered

As evidence that Denver continues to go nuts over all things fast-casual, local chain Noodles & Company is opening its 56th store in Colorado today, while Chicago import Protein Bar is also opening another location: the new 16th Street Mall spot will be the fourth Protein Bar in Colorado when it opens on Wednesday. Noodles & Company is a veteran of the fast-casual wars: the original location opened nearly twenty years ago in Cherry Creek North. Protein Bar, featuring a healthy, low-calorie menu, entered the Colorado market just this year with a store in Boulder, but the company has expanded to more than 20 stores nationwide since it was founded in Chicago in 2009.

Meanwhile Qdoba is also expanding -- its menu and our waistlines.

See also: The Toppings War: Qdoba Versus Chipotle

The home-grown Mexican restaurant chain just added smothered burritos as part of its free toppings program. Now, for the same price as a standard Qdoba silver bullet, you can add one (or presumably all) of three new sauces -- Tangy Verde, Bold Red Chile or Smoky Chipotle Cream -- inside and on top of your burrito order. It's a move that has burrito peddlers throughout the city asking "What took you so long?"

Part of the initial burst of fast-casual joints in the mid-1990s, Qdoba has seen its growth outpace even Noodles & Company. There are now more than 600 Qdoba locations across the U.S.


We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

Newsletters

All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories
    Send:

Newsletters

All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >