Work continues on a Village Mall building that’s slated to house a pair of restaurants.
Originally announced as the location for both a Noodlebox and a Costa Vida Fresh Mexican Grill, the site now has only one confirmed tenant: Noodlebox. Costa Vida recently announced that it is not proceeding with its plans, said Ron Schletz, senior leasing manager for Western Canada with property owner First Capital Realty Inc.
“We are searching for a replacement use and hope to have something soon,” said Schletz in an email to the Advocate.
Noodlebox plans to commence operations in Red Deer this spring, said Jesse Penner, who looks after the restaurant chain’s marketing department.
It currently has six outlets in the Victoria area, two in Vancouver and one each in Calgary and Airdrie. Two more in Vancouver are about to open.
“We are growing very fast as a business,” said Penner.
“We’re slowly making our way east.”
The Noodlebox menu offers a variety of East Asian foods, including Singapore cashew curry, Malay-style fried rice, Thai-style chow mein, Panang red curry, Burmese naan, Cambodian spring rolls and Vietnamese cucumber salad.
“It’s kind of a fusion idea,” said Penner, describing how Noodlebox’s founders were inspired while travelling through Southeast Asia.
“They came back and they decided to start this Asian concept with this food cart,” he said, adding that the food cart evolved into the first Noodlebox restaurant in Victoria’s Chinatown district in 2001.
Today, the restaurant emphasizes fresh and natural ingredients in made-to-order dishes, said Penner.
“We make all of our sauces in-house; we bring all of our ingredients in fresh every two days, so nothing is ever frozen.”
Noodlebox is also big on environmental sustainability, added Penner, with virtually everything used in its operations either recycled or composted.
“If you walk into a Noodlebox, the only thing you’re going to find in there that is actually thrown into the garbage are straws.”
Recycled and reclaimed materials are also used in the construction of Noodlebox stores, said Penner, with pine beetle-blemished wood commonly used.
Although some Noodlebox locations are franchised, the Red Deer store will be corporate-owned.
Village Mall is located southwest of the intersection of Gaetz Avenue and 67th Street.