Noodles & Co. spirals onto campus

By Courtney Linehan

Patrons of Green Street restaurants have another option when picking how to satisfy their palates, with the opening of Noodles & Co. on Tuesday. The restaurant, which features noodle-based and noodle-less dishes from around the world, opens its doors at Sixth and Green Streets at 11 a.m.

Darlene Murphy, spokesperson for IWI Ventures, the firm that brought Noodles & Co. to Champaign, said the restaurant’s quick casual dining atmosphere and quality food make it a hit on other college campuses.

“Noodles & Co. does very well in places that have campus communities, vibrant residential life and business communities,” Murphy said.

Noodles & Co.’s main appeal is that it brings dishes from around the world together on one menu, Murphy said. Each dish begins as vegetarian, but meat or tofu can be added.

The menu includes noodle-based items like Japanese Pan Noodles and Wisconsin Mac and Cheese, but also features salads and a “noodle-less” section. Entrees range in price from $2.75 to $7.75, but Murphy said the average check is about seven dollars.

The restaurant will be open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.

Noodles & Co. offers both sit-down and carryout options. Owner Tom Weigand said the restaurant’s appeal is that it is a good option for either lunch or dinner and that it offers a variety of options in one establishment.

The location will be one of the biggest benefits for both patrons and the restaurant, Weigand said.

“We wanted to be accessible to college students, not just between classes but where they live as well,” Weigand added. “This is a great corner, because you have the campus on one side and student housing on the other. This is what we consider an A+ location.”

The Champaign restaurant is the 117th Noodles & Co. to open. IWI Ventures recently brought another franchise to Normal, Ill., and the Illinois State University campus. It is also on Wisconsin, Minnesota, Northwestern and Michigan campuses.

Restaurant manager Estella Wilson said the food rises above the quality of the typical take-out fare.

“It’s good food. It’s not cheap; it’s good dinner food,” Wilson said.