Fast-growing Flatbread Chain Debuting In O.c. & L.a.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Sandella's Flatbread Cafe, a hot brand in the fast-casual dining sector, is opening an eatery near South Coast Plaza next week.

The 137-unit Connecticut-based chain plans to open more than 400 eateries across the United States and overseas. A handful are planned in Orange County � specifically Santa Ana and Irvine. The Santa Ana eatery, known for its brick-oven flatbread, opens 11 a.m. Sept. 22 at 2801 MacArthur Blvd. It's about a mile away from South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa.

The following week, the chain will open another restaurant at the Hollywood Galaxy Shopping Center. (Interesting tidbit: The Los Angeles franchisee is the nephew of Zov Karamardian, renowned O.C. chef and owner of three Zov's concepts.) The lowdown: Sandella's serves grilled paninis, sandwiches, grilled flatbreads, quesadillas and salads. The flatbread is trans-fat free, kosher and has less calories than most breads and tortillas used at rival sandwich chains. Average per person check: $7 to $10.

Sandella's has made a number of Top 100 and Top 400 restaurant lists over the last few years, including Restaurants & Institutions Top 400 Chain Restaurants. With $96 million in sales in 2007, Sandella's ranked No. 252 on the trade magazine's annual list.

Beyond that, I don't know much about the chain, other than it sounds like a flatbread version of Panera Bread. It also has a large presence in East Coast college campuses. Have you eaten at this chain? If so, write in and let us know.

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9 Brookside Place
West Redding, CT

Phone: (203) 544-9984
Toll Free: 1.800.230.7004
Fax: (203) 544-9981

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