DOWNTOWN — Good news, healthy eaters: your protein-filled Loop lunch options are poised to grow.
The locally-based fast-casual health food chain Protein Bar will open two new Downtown locations in the fall: a 1,400-square-foot outpost at 151 N. Michigan Ave., and another at 33 S. Wabash Ave.
"Our concept really caters to urban professionals, and some of our most successful stores have been in that urban environment, catering to the breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack crowd," River North-based founder and CEO Matt Matros said. "Those two sites are no different."
More of the popular restaurants are opening in the loop and Lizzie Schiffman tells you where:
The location at 151 N. Michigan Ave. is less than five blocks from another Protein Bar at State and Lake, but Matros says he's confident both sites will get plenty of traffic.
"In the Loop people don't want to walk more than a few blocks to get a quick, healthy lunch," he said. "Usually they're pressed for time, or they just want something fast, and that's what we aim to provide."
The restaurant's menu focuses on quick and healthy food such as "bar-ritos" that are made with quinoa instead of rice, and whole-wheat wraps taking the place of flour tortillas.
The chain currently has 11 locations in the city, two in the suburbs, and an additional seven in Colorado and Washington, D.C.
Late last year, Protein Bar announced an ambitious plan to "go national" and open 40 restaurants by the end of 2015.