EAGLE COUNTY — Group970 Restaurants, currently operating five restaurant locations based in Vail and Beaver Creek, has set its sights on New Braunfels, Texas, for an upcoming expansion. The company’s first venture outside of the state will include a Blue Moose Pizza, the restaurant group’s first-ever concept, in addition to a brand-new, modern Italian inspired concept, 188 South. The announcement comes after just recently being named Business of the Year by the Vail Valley Partnership.
While the expansion of the Vail Valley-based company to Texas may come as a surprise to some, there are multiple parallels between the two locations, along with a strong connection to Texas among the key players in the Group970 team.
“We feel the clientele and surrounding atmospheres of the Vail Valley and Comal County share a lot of important similarities; all that lend themselves to the core aspects of our restaurant concepts,” said Sarah Franke, Group970 director of marketing and communications. “We also welcome the challenge of learning and adjusting to an unknown area and are eager to immerse ourselves in our new community.”
Brian Nolan, Group970 owner, also referenced market similarities.
“We have so many loyal customers from Texas here in the Vail Valley; it seemed natural to expand to a place where many guests that enjoy our product can continue to be our guests a little closer to home,” he said
However, Nolan acknowledged his love for the state and prior experience as another decision driver. This isn’t the first time Nolan has tried his hand in Texas. He previously owned and operated several restaurants throughout the state in locations including Houston, Dallas, Austin and College Station. Although he has since made the Vail Valley his home, Texas has never been far from his mind, and Nolan has been waiting for the right time and opportunity to make his return to the state. Now, 30 years later, Nolan said he’s looking forward to the new venture, saying the location choice was obvious.
“We knew we wanted an area with a relaxed, family-friendly vibe and a strong community foundation, similar to the Vail Valley,” he said. “Also, I’ve never stopped missing Texas. It will be wonderful to get back close to family and friends and to make many new ones.”