The Buona Companies, owner and operator of family-owned Buona, recently announced that the company is expanding its operations to include the first franchised Buona restaurant, located in Denver, Colorado. The company currently has 25 restaurants across Illinois, primarily located in the Greater Chicago area, but will open its 26th location in the Denver market. In addition, beginning this month, Buona will begin providing its famous Buona Italian Beef to the Colorado Rockies baseball stadium.
Buona was founded over 40 years ago and 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.
As operations expand outside of Illinois, Buona is committed to delivering the same great experience and food that customers currently enjoy at all Buona locations. All the ingredients that have made Buona so popular – including the famous Italian Beef, signature French bread, and hot or mild giardiniera – will be sourced directly from Chicagoland, helping bring the authentic Buona experience to its Denver patrons.
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 Street in downtown Denver. The food hall scene in Denver has been rapidly expanding over the past 8 years – and by choosing this venue for its latest location, Buona can cater to this emerging trend and target a new market, all while building the family-oriented experience that it's known for. This location will open the first week of July as a Buona express and will offer a limited menu that will include many of Buona’s popular options like the Original Italian Beef Sandwich, burgers, Plant-Based Italian Beefless Sandwich, and Signature Italian Sausage.
In addition to opening this location in downtown Denver, Buona has also partnered with the Colorado Rockies to provide its famous Buona Beef to their stadium – similar to the relationships they have with the Cubs, Bears and Red Sox in Chicago. Also, just as with the new restaurant on Wazee Street, all the ingredients provided to the baseball stadium will be sourced directly from Buona’s distribution center in Chicago to ensure patrons are getting the authentic Buona experience.
“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,” says Joe Buonavolanto Jr., second generation owner. “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.”