Lynchburg, VA - The newest restaurant to pop up on Wards Road in Lynchburg is serving up something unique for Central Virginians; Arosto is part of a growing trend in the restaurant business, "fast-casual."
Restaurants like Chipotle and Panera Bread are fast-casual. The difference with Arosto is it's fast-casual, and also locally-owned.
During the lunchtime rush Tuesday, Arosto staff were busy cranking out pizzas, and customers were rolling in.
Arosto opened just this week.
The high volume of business is a dream come true for General Manager Roy Badgley.
"These days people want one step above fast food, but they want to get in and out," said Badgley.
Arosto combines the experience of dining out with the speed of fast-food. The atmosphere is cozy and the service is quick.
"We feel we can master the fast casual piece of this with speed, efficiency, service and quality," said Badgley.
Many customers say the price is fair, too.
"I think it's comparable to other faster food places in the area," said Lauren Bryant.
Many say that Arosto is a great example of another small, locally-owned business boosting our economy.
Mike Lewis with the Regional Chamber of Commerce says our region's had 50 ribbon cuttings and groundbreakings in one year.
"We are happy to see this growth - obviously. It means more jobs, more economic vitality for our region," said Lewis.
Arosto means "roasted" in Italian.
"We wanted to create a name that we can kind of create and brand the way we want to build it, and not have a connotation that was already out there and branded itself," said Josh Oppenheimer, Arosto's marketing director.
The brainchild behind Waterstone Pizza in Lynchburg is also behind Arosto. In fact, it's really a fast-casual version of the downtown full-service restaurant.