Feb 142007
Authors: Jen Cintora

Location, location, location – that seems to be an important factor for many Fort Collins businesses. And the intersection of Laurel Street and College Avenue is quite the hot spot.

Two restaurants, Noodles & Company and Which Wich, have opened in the last month near the intersection, looking to entice diners with an array of diverse choices. Close proximity to CSU has helped keep sales steady at both locations.

“Obviously, corporations like to be in places near colleges,” Which Wich manager Josh Montoya said.

Real estate agent Jim Katopodis oversees the retail space at 702 S. College Ave., which was previously the Mint Clothing Exchange. He said about 4,200 cars pass through the intersection every day, making it a prime area for businesses.

“Plus, there’s always a lot of college students walking by,” Katopodis said.

The potential for a thriving market is what prompted the sandwich company to open its first Colorado location at 706 S. College Ave.

And Noodles & Company, a contemporary noodle house, decided to remodel the vacant building that abuts the northeast corner of the intersection to build its second Fort Collins location.

“We hoped that putting one right by the college and Old Town would bring attention from the other side of town,” Noodles & Company Assistant Manager Sean Bowling said.

The intersection has seen a number of new businesses – particularly eateries – in recent years. Close proximity to a college campus and a location on a major avenue do not always guarantee success, as some have observed.

Several of the area’s more recent and thriving businesses have been corporations with experience, such as Cold Stone Creamery and Starbucks, Katopodis said.

Noodles & Company and Which Wich have both reported satisfactory sales.

“We have a nice, steady flow throughout the day,” Bowling said. “We have everyone from big families to college kids coming in.”

And Montoya says Which Wich revenues are increasing steadily from week to week.

Noodles & Company, which originated in Boulder, opened at the intersection in late January. It offers patrons a variety of dishes, from macaroni and cheese to Japanese pan noodles. Self-described as fast-casual dining experience, the company focuses on providing fresh and healthful choices for everyone.

Which Wich, a Dallas-based company, boasts a menu of over 50 sandwiches, all made hot. The variety accommodates meat-eaters and vegetarians, all priced at $4.25, with the exception of the Wicked sandwich which runs for $5.25. The restaurant also offers chips, fresh-baked cookies and milkshakes.

Staff writer Jen Cintora can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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