Construction crews have been busy at University Village of late, and not just because the colossal Room and Board furniture store is taking shape where Barnes and Noble used to be. The shopping center has four new food and drink outlets in the works.
This California-based chain makes 100 percent plant-based versions of comfort food like buffalo chicken sandwiches (as well as more overtly vegan fare like kale salads). The idea of vegan wings or carne asada might sound highly scoffable, but Veggie Grill has a fanbase that approaches Bieberlike levels of devotion. And not all of them are vegan. The second Seattle location opens Thursday in a storefront carved out of the aforementioned Room and Board monolith, between Lululemon and Eddie Bauer (the first one is in Amazonia). The hours will be 11-10 Sunday through Thursday, and 11 to 11 Friday and Saturday.
Since most of the inhabitable universe is already saturated with Starbucks stores (hey, U Village already has two), the Mermaid is jumping into the healthy juice and food business in a big way with its new chain. This sizeable location, next to the Microsoft store, will open this fall. It's the third Seattle-area location for Evolution Fresh, which cold presses its juices and dispenses them via a wall of taps in combinations like carrot, blueberry, and cinnamon. Evolution Fresh also sells breakfast, lunch, and dinner dishes that are packed with nutrients and actually quite tasty.
Elemental Wood-Fired Pizza
First there was Zao Noodle Bar. Then, James Allard and Steve Rosen, the guys behind Blue C Sushi and Boom Noodle, took over and opened Grace Kitchen. Now they are reopening the prominent restaurant space as a destination for wood-fired pizza. Even more exciting: Over at the Seattle Times, Rebekah Denn reports that the chef used to work at the epic Bar del Corso in Beacon Hill, as well as Renton’s Smoking Monkey pizza. Right now the space is in the middle of a seriously crunched buildout, since they hope to open later this month. Follow along on Facebook.
Starbucks is all about the new concept stores these days. In addition to its juice shops, the Mermaid is also launching a store based on its line of teas. The new store, located in the former Lululemon location next to Papyrus, will reportedly have a blending station where customers can customize teas, and more than 80 varieties of loose-leaf tea. The drink counter will sell tea drinks and lattes, both hot and iced. Target opening: November.