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Smashburger and Noodles & Co. coming to Peoria Metro Centre

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PEORIA —Two new franchises are heading toward the Metro Centre shopping center.

Smashburger and Noodles & Co. should be in business early next year, said Metro Centre manager Eric Brinker.

The two restaurants will take up space where the Denny’s restaurant had been located before being demolished last weekend. Construction already has begun, he said.

“The new restaurants will be oriented differently in that space,” Brinker said.

“We’re thrilled to have the new eating places. A number of the Metro businesses I’ve spoken with are excited. They see it as a boost to their business,” he said.

Terry Crain, owner of Merle Norman Cosmetic Studios at Metro Centre, said she was looking forward to both places, especially Noodles & Co. “I absolutely love the Noodles & Co. restaurants I’ve visited in Chicago. They have a macaroni and cheese like you’ve never had before,” she said.

New attractions will benefit other stores at the center, said Crain. “Where there’s food, there’s people,” she said.

The noodle chain offers noodle dishes in three varieties – American, Asian and Mediterranean – as well serving sandwiches and salads.

Doug Cekander, who owns the Smashburger franchise in Peoria, said it should be well accepted in Peoria. “It’s all fresh and smashed on the grill. You can have almost any number of fresh ingredients – from a fried egg to an avocado – on top,” he said.

Cekander, who also owns the area Buffalo Wild Wings outlets, already has a Smashburger restaurant operating in Springfield with a Bloomington store due to open in two weeks.

Along with hamburgers, Smashburger will offer Haagen Daz ice cream and shakes as well as a small beer menu, Cekander said.

Steve Tarter can be reached at 686-3260 or starter@pjstar.com. Original article can be viewed here.


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