The story begins in 1993 when serving fresh food fast was virtually unheard of. In fact, the term ‘fast casual’ didn’t even exist. The only option for busy people and families on the go was the fast food drive thru window. Not exactly a healthy or wholesome option. Aaron Kennedy was living in New York City at the time and asked the question, “Why not?” Why couldn’t a restaurant bridge the gap and offer convenience and fresh, flavorful food. Radical thinking, right?
Being in one of the restaurant capitals of the world, Aaron also saw a lot of niche restaurants – Italian, American, Chinese – but that required everyone to be in the mood for the same thing. So he asked himself another question, “Why not offer all of these great flavors under one roof?” But there was something missing. There had to be an anchor, something that would tie the concept together. Enter the noodle. Noodles and pasta are part of almost every cuisine – from Pad Thai in Thailand to Lo Mein in China to Mac & Cheese in Wisconsin. So why not put the world’s best loved noodle and pasta dishes on one menu and serve them fast and fresh?
Fast forward to 1995 and that’s what he did. What started as a single restaurant in the Cherry Creek neighborhood of Denver, Colorado has now grown to more than 250 restaurants in 18 states. Along the way we added soups, salads and sandwiches. And with an executive team lead by industry maven Kevin Reddy, this is just the beginning.