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Fast Casual, Healthy Chain Sweetgreen Opens Tuesday In River North

By Stephen Gossett in Food on Aug 19, 2016 7:40PM

Sweetgreen / Facebook

No, it’s not the name of a new head shop. Sweetgreen is actually a national fast-casual restaurant chain that specializes in salads and grain bowls. The chain—which is supported by some pretty big names in the food world—has dozens of spots along the East Coast and several in California. Crain's reported in March that they would soon land in Chicago, and now, they have the date: the paper reported on Friday that Sweetgreen would make its local (and Midwest) debut on Tuesday, Aug. 23, in River North.

As pointed out in a New Yorker profile last year of Sweetgreen and the similarly focused LYFE, their market depends on a concurrent shift of dining habits and farming habits. (The chain relies on local sourcing for its seasonal and signature menus.) Apparently, the powers behind Sweetgreen think that shift has arrived in Chicago. Backed financially by Danny Meyer (Shake Shake) and David Chang (Momofuku), Sweetgreen certainly has the star power that could elevate it above similar spots. They chain has received positive press recently in the New York Times and Food and Wine. (And, look, they even had a festival with Vince Staples and Blondie!)

Sweetgreen (623 N. State St.) opens on Aug. 23 (10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.) Proceeds from opening day will benefit Growing Power, a local "mobile market" effort. The Chicago space will be the chain's 50th location. The River North menu is not publicly finalized, but diners can gauge what to expect from the New York list here.