Qdoba’s ushers in `quick casual’ cuisine to Glenwood Springs
Post Independent Staff
A trend-setting franchise restaurant is landing at Glenwood Springs’ most high-profile intersection, and is slated to open in late April.
Qdoba Mexican Grill will be located in the former Denny’s restaurant building, just north of the intersection of 6th and Laurel in North Glenwood, said Qdoba spokesman Dave Lidvall.
“This is Mexican food with a twist,” Lidvall said from his Denver office. “It’s not all Mexican, but there is a Mexican theme.”
Lidvall said Qdoba (pronounced Cue-Doba), is part of the nationwide “quick casual” dining trend that started out on Denver’s Capitol Hill a few years ago.
“The first one was Qdoba,” Lidvall said. “Now, there are 18 other quick casual restaurants in a five-block radius. Noodles is one of them.”
“For some reason, Denver is the epicenter of this kind of restaurant,” Lidvall said.
Lidvall said quick casual restaurants offer meals that are a little more expensive than fast food restaurants, but are also fresher, healthier and higher quality.
“People are tired of the quality at some higher-priced restaurants, and less than happy at the level of service at fast food restaurants,” Lidvall said. “They don’t want to take an hour or 90 minutes to dine. At Qdoba they can do it in 20 minutes.”
Customers at Qdoba will order in a cueing line, then pay at the cash register. For a burrito, a counter person will ask what kind of beans the customer wants, the type of salsa, and whether they want cheese or sour cream. Beverages, other than alcohol, will be self service.
“Our rice and beans are a better product than fast food restaurants, but we don’t intend to compete with the authentic Mexican restaurant. That’s not what we are,” he said.
Qdoba will also offer a take-out taco bar for groups of 20 or more. Lidvall said a group can order the taco bar the day before, then come to the restaurant to pick it up. “It comes with dishes and is ready to roll. We’re all about convenience,” he said.
Lidvall said the word “qdoba” doesn’t mean anything in Spanish, but does connote a Mexican theme. The first Qdoba opened in Denver in 1995, and today there are 84 franchise restaurants in 14 states.
Lidvall said his company, Flavor West LLC, chose Glenwood Springs for its first Qdoba restaurant because it’s a “great town,” and a majority of the town’s tourists are from the Front Range.
“So there’s some brand identity for people when they come through,” he said. “And that’s a convenient corner.”
Qdoba will occupy two-thirds of the building. Lidvall plans to lease the rest of the building to a non-competing food or drink operation, such as a Starbucks or high-end ice cream shop.
Lidvall’s company plans to open a Qdoba in Grand Junction later this year, and is considering locations in Durango, Summit County and Montrose.
Contact Lynn Burton: 945-8515, ext. 534
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