Qdoba coming to 'Boat

Burrito chain preparing to open in Central Park South

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Wheat Ridge-based "quick-serve" burrito chain Qdoba Mexican Grill is preparing to open a new restaurant in the Central Park South shopping center.

A Colorado franchisee called Flavors West LLC has applied for a liquor license and indicated it would like to open by Oct. 1.

Jim C. Hansen, leasing agent for shopping center developer THF Real Estate, confirmed that the Qdoba restaurant will become the first tenant of the new addition to Central Park. It will occupy a space at the end of the center closest to Wal-Mart.

Qdoba serves customized bur--ritos and other Mexican specialties to diners while they wait at the counter. The restaurants pride themselves on fresh ingredients and creative sauces such as poblano pesto and chicken mole. Qdoba restaurants also serve beer and wine.

Qdoba was founded in Den----ver in 1995 by partners Anthony Miller and Robert Hauser. It since has grown to more than 200 restaurants in 30 states. The chain was acquired in 2003 by San Diego, Calif.-based Jack in the Box Inc., originally a hamburger chain which trades on the New York Stock Exchange as JBX.

Qdoba's corporate Web page indicates the company prefers new locations to offer to a population of at least 10,000 people within a one-mile radius. It seeks demographics including a median household income within the nation's top 30 percent.

Principals in Flavors West LLC, are David Lidvall of Lakewood, Mark Anderson of Lakewood, Scott Anderson of Anchorage, Alaska, and Paul Edstrom of Littleton.

Shares of JBX closed the week at $36.53, down 57 cents in trading Friday.

Qdoba's 229 stores include 55 that are company-owned. For the quarter that ended July 10, same-store sales were up in the "low double digits" among the company-owned stores. July marked the 24th consecutive quarter in which Qdoba's corporate stores were up from the same period in the preceding year.

Qdoba had 177 stores as of October 2004, and the 52 new stores in the past 10 months indicate the pace at which the chain is growing.

Qdoba's core of executives has been with the company for about seven years. CEO and president Gary Beisler and Chief Operating Officer Richard Pugh came to Qdoba from Rally's Hamburgers, where they presided over the rapid growth of that restaurant chain.

-- To reach Tom Ross call 871-4205

or e-mail tross@steamboatpilot.com

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