Chicago-based Buona is opening its first location outside of Illinois in July inside a Denver, Colorado-based food hall but will also serve its Italian beef at the Colorado Rockies baseball stadium.
The 25-unit chain, founded over 40 years ago, has remained a family run business throughout its growth and expansion, but as the family of restaurateurs considered stepping outside of Illinois, they were thoughtful in choosing their next location. Not only is Colorado a popular relocation destination for many former Illinoisans, but they also have a booming restaurant scene that is popular with locals and tourists alike. With Buona’s focus on all-natural ingredients, the food culture in Denver made it a natural fit for the Buona brand, said Joe Buonavolanto Jr., a second-generation owner.
“We’re looking forward to opening our first franchised restaurant in the Denver, Colorado market, and we hope it will be the first of many,” he said in a company press release. “When we were considering potential locations, Denver felt like a natural fit for Buona’s first out-of-state expansion. There’s such a wonderful food-driven culture in the Denver area, we instantly felt like it was a community we wanted to join; and then when there was the opportunity to partner with the Colorado Rockies to provide their stadium with our famous Buona beef, we knew that we’d found our new home.”
The latest location is also unique for Buona because it will be the first of its restaurants to be in a food hall — found at 1901 Wazee St., in downtown Denver.
Buona’s partnership with the Rockies is similar to the relationships it has with the Cubs, Bears and Red Sox in Chicago. Also, just as with the restaurant on Wazee Street, all the ingredients provided to the baseball stadium will be sourced directly from Buona’s distribution center in Chicago, according to the release.
Cherry Canslerat at Fast Casual.com