Salad chain ‘sweetgreen’ opens new location near New Eastside

By B. David Zarley | Staff Writer

November 15, 2017

Salad chain sweetgreen’s newest location is now open in the Crain Communications Building at 150 N. Michigan Ave.

Area residents line up for free food at salad chain sweetgreen’s Community Day on Sunday, October 22. The new Loop location at 150 N. Michigan Ave, officially opened October 23. Photo by B. David Zarley.

Manager Margaret Doherty said sweetgreen is a farm-to-table, from-scratch restaurant. “We do everything in house every day, from our dressings to our drinks,” she explained. Sustainability is a primary concern for sweetgreen. All its products are compostable and biodegradable, and local produce arrives daily. “We try to use all growers from Illinois and the Midwest region to source all of our product in store to help sustainability in the Midwest and our region,” Doherty said.

The local ingredients are used in an array of salads, called “warm bowls.” Ingredients such as wild rice, kale, tofu and mushrooms, or quinoa, corn, chickpeas and chicken, are offered in a build-your-own salad bar. Seasonal salads rotate through out the year, highlighting what is in season in the Midwest.

Cristian Villalta, a Washington, DC, sweetgreen manager, was in town to help with the launch. “Since right now we’re in the fall season, we’re featuring brussels sprouts, curry cauliflower and the apple pear cheddar [salad]—all fruits and vegetables that are harvested in the fall,” Villalta said.

The branch officially opened on October 23, with a charity initiative marking the occasion. Proceeds from opening day went to Chicago-based charity Growing Home, which assists people with employment barriers—including homelessness, mental health issues and criminal records—and helps them learn job skills via paid, on-the-farm training.

“Come try us,” Doherty said. “We’re super awesome, very fun and eclectic. You’ll have a good time here and hopefully a great salad.”

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