Popular noodle restaurant to open franchise location in Dubuque

A popular noodle restaurant announced it will open a franchise in the Dubuque market.

Officials with Noodles & Company confirmed to the Telegraph Herald this week that they plan to open a franchise at 800 Wacker Plaza, the former Caribou Coffee location.

“We are excited to be growing our footprint with a new location in Dubuque,” said Brian Anderson, communications manager for Noodles & Company, in an email to the Telegraph Herald. “While it is still too early to share an exact date, we are aiming for later this year or early 2024 (for opening).”

Anderson added that additional details will be shared once the opening date is closer.

Anderson said Noodles & Company typically employs 25 to 30 people at its locations and plans to do so for the Dubuque one as well. Current job postings on LinkedIn and Indeed are seeking a restaurant general manager, assistant general manager and restaurant shift manager.

“It also looks like this (Dubuque) location will have a pickup window, which allows our guests the convenience of ordering ahead through the app or website, and then going through a lane similar to a drive-thru to pickup their food without leaving their car,” Anderson said via email.

Caribou Coffee closed its Wacker Plaza location in April this year after moving into the space in July 2017.

Online property records state that 800 Wacker Drive is owned by Metro Investments Dubuque LLC. Multiple requests for comment were not returned.

Noodles & Company is known for its menu of pasta dishes. The company was founded in Denver in 1995.

Since then, the company has grown to over 450 restaurants across 26 states, including 58 locations in Illinois and 55 locations in Wisconsin.

Noodles & Company’s website lists nine current locations in Iowa: Ames, Cedar Rapids, Coralville, Davenport, Des Moines, Iowa City, Waterloo and West Des Moines.

The Telegraph Herald previously reported in 2015 that a developer believed a Noodles & Company location was likely in the area of Wacker Drive and Dodge Street, though it did not materialize at the time.

City of Dubuque Public Information Officer Randy Gehl told the Telegraph Herald that the city has not yet received any documents about the Noodles & Company project.

Rick Dickinson, president and CEO of Greater Dubuque Development Corp., said he knew there had been discussion of a possible franchise location for the Dubuque market, but he was not aware of the location’s imminent arrival to Wacker Plaza. He added that the GDDC office isn’t typically involved with retail or hospitality openings unless asked to be involved with things such as zoning or infrastructure issues.

“In this particular case, if they decided where they’re going, the infrastructure is there, they’ve done negotiations with the property owner, if they see that they can make money, then they’ll come,” he said.