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Company says new Noodles is doing well, with Wisconsin mac and cheese leading in sales

Company says new Noodles is doing well, with Wisconsin mac and cheese leading in sales

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Noodles & Company

Cassie Vang is the general manager of Noodles & Company at 9417 Hwy. 16 in Onalaska. The location opened in early October.

Years after area residents began asking for one, the Noodles & Co. restaurant that opened Oct. 2 at 9417 Hwy. 16 in Onalaska is doing well, a spokesman for the chain said last week.

“Our Onalaska restaurant is significantly outperforming our average new restaurant opening thus far,” said Brian Anderson, communications manager at Noodles headquarters in Broomfield, Colo. “Our loyal fans have been requesting a location in this area for many years now, and we attribute the success to our brand awareness in Wisconsin, as well as the need for a Noodles in La Crosse/Onalaska.”

The restaurant offers a variety of noodles dishes, salads and soups, and is in a new four-unit building where Shopko Optical and an AT&T store opened earlier. A tenant hasn’t been announced for the fourth space in the building. The Old Country Buffet restaurant that used to occupy the site closed in 2016 and was razed in 2018 to make way for the new building.

The Noodles restaurant originally was to open Sept. 16. But that was delayed until Oct. 2 because of a local spike in coronavirus cases. With the opening of the Onalaska restaurant, the chain has 458 restaurants in 29 states, including 50 in Wisconsin.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, for now the restaurant’s inside dining area is closed to on-premise eating. But customers can eat on the outdoor patio or take their food home. Employees and customers must wear face masks, although they can take them off once seated at an outdoor dining table, Anderson said.

“At this time, indoor dining remains closed out of an abundance of caution,” he said. He had no prediction when indoor dining will begin.

The Onalaska restaurant also has taken other coronavirus precautions, such as installation of plexiglass shields and enhanced cleaning procedures, Noodles Area Manager Aaron Kurt said in an interview before the restaurant opened.

Customers can order food on a Noodles app, online, by telephone or in person inside the restaurant. They can pick up their food inside the restaurant or at the pick-up window on the restaurant’s north side. Delivery also is available.

The most popular menu item so far at the Onalaska restaurant is Wisconsin mac and cheese, Anderson said, followed by Japanese pan noodles, buttered noodles, pesto cavatappi and penne rosa.

Dessert items include a house-made Rice Krispy treat and two kinds of cookies – chocolate chunk and snickerdoodle, said Cassie Vang, the new restaurant’s general manager.

“Our Rice Krispy treats are made in-house every day and are one of our most popular items,” Anderson said.

Anderson said Noodles & Co. typically hosts a benefit night on the evening before opening day, in which is collects cash donations for a local group. “However, due to COVID-19, we were unable to host the event in that way” at the Onalaska restaurant.

But this Monday, the restaurant will host a benefit day from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. for the local Rush Wisconsin West youth soccer club, which will receive half of all qualifying online and in-restaurant sales. For more information about the benefit and how to make a qualifying purchase, visit the club’s website at www.rushwiwest.com.

Parking for the restaurant is available in front of and in back of the building. “The majority of the parking is in the back,” Kurt said.

“We’re very excited and happy to be here in the community,” Kurt said. “We look forward to engaging in the community and doing some fundraisers locally.”

“Our Onalaska restaurant is significantly outperforming our average new restaurant opening thus far. Our loyal fans have been requesting a location in this area for many years now, and we attribute the success to our brand awareness in Wisconsin, as well as the need for a Noodles in La Crosse/Onalaska.” Brian Anderson, communications manager at Noodles headquarters in Broomfield, Colo.

“Our Onalaska restaurant is significantly outperforming our average new restaurant opening thus far . Our loyal fans have been requesting a location in this area for many years now, and we attribute the success to our brand awareness in Wisconsin, as well as the need for a Noodles in La Crosse/Onalaska.”

Brian Anderson, communications manager at Noodles headquarters in Broomfield, Colo.

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