~update 7/9/12 new concept restaurant is now closed
Owners to close Willamette Noodle Company; plans for new concept restaurant under way
The owners of Willamette Noodle Company are closing one chapter in downtown Salem’s dining repertoire – but with plans under way to open an exciting new dining experience in the same location.
Willamette Noodle Company will close 10 p.m. on June 16, having served thousands of satisfied customers in nearly 10 years. However, owners Robert and Janet Henry are developing a new dining concept and restaurant in the same location, 380 High St., NE. Details about the new concept will be unveiled at Battle Creek Liquor Outlet’s second anniversary celebration.
“We have a wonderful relationship with BCLO, which has been very supportive of our efforts to provide the best selection of locally-produced spirits in town,” said Janet Henry, president of WNC. “The timing of their anniversary celebration and our re-launch was a win-win. We get to unveil our new venture to their clients, plus we get to introduce our fans to the best place in town to purchase the spirits we serve.”
The event is open to the public and will be held 2-5 p.m., Saturday June 16 at the Liquor Outlet, 5107 Commercial St SE. The name of the new restaurant will be announced then, and Robert and Janet Henry will be on hand with tasty treats from the new menu.
“We are both excited and a little sad about this decision, but it’s the right one for us at this time,” said Janet Henry. “We opened the original Willamette Noodle Company in June 2003 in a tiny building at the corner of Broadway and Hood and later moved to the downtown location. Now we see an opportunity to change our culinary offerings to appeal to a new and diverse market in Salem that appreciates local, fresh, seasonal food.”
Sara Downie has been named as general manager of the new business, bringing energy and passion for improving the customer experience. Sara worked in management for Starbucks for several years and most recently managed a locally-owned coffee company. “We are very pleased to have Sara on our team. Her ideas and leadership are already making a positive impact,” said Robert Henry, chef/owner. The company plans to keep the entire Willamette Noodle Company staff on as the changeover is made to the new restaurant.
The new restaurant will feature local, seasonal and fresh ingredients, providing the culinary team a broad palette with which to experiment. In addition, the new establishment will include an expanded spirits selection, lounge area and interactive recreational area (with board games, cards, etc.).