A fast-growing health food restaurant chain goes green in Colorado Springs.
Green District of Louisville, Kentucky, which specializes in salads, wraps and cereal bowls, has set its sights on an Aug. 23 opening at the Briargate Crossing mall, southeast of Powers Boulevard and Briargate Parkway in the far northeast, said co-founder and chief development officer Officer Chris Furlow.
A second Green District is slated to open in October in the north-facing Polaris Pointe development, southeast of Interstate 25 and North Gate Boulevard, he said.
Dave & Buster plans location on the north side of Colorado Springs
Founded in 2017, the chain has nine locations in Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio, according to its website.
By the end of the year, Green District expects to have 25 restaurants in total, including the two in Springs and another slated to open in September at the Denver Tech Center, Furlow said. At least five to six more locations are planned by 2023, he said.
He and Jordan Doepke, Green District’s other co-founder and CEO, have been trying to expand their brand into large markets that may have been bypassed by quickly served, healthy eating options. However, their strategy avoids large metro areas like New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, Furlow said.
Additional In-N-Out, Whataburger locations planned in Colorado Springs
“We had really good success in Louisville, Kentucky,” he said. “We’re about three to four hours south of Chicago. Chicago would be an obvious no-brainer for a large, growing development. (But) this is where we say it’s not fair that the surrounding markets don’t understand these other concepts, like an Indianapolis, a Cincinnati, a Nashville.
“When we said we’re going to grow, we always wanted to stay true to going into the, I wouldn’t say smaller markets, but the ones that don’t quite have the big skyscrapers and towers,” Furlow added. “You can call it a secondary market, a ‘B’ town if you will. I would say where for us to have a bigger impact in a smaller community rather than getting lost in the wilderness of a huge city. “
Doepke has lived in Colorado Springs for several years and is familiar with the area and its quality of life, Furlow said.
Rock N Roll Sushi is coming to Colorado Springs
Now Springs’ booming population makes it attractive, but it still fits the chain’s desire to locate in not-too-large metro areas, he said.
“It’s another market outside of a big city,” Furlow said.
Green District offers a variety of salads with more than 50 ingredients, including fruits, vegetables, meats and cheeses. Customers can design their own wraps and choose from cereal bowls offering rice, quinoa and other items.
Green District emphasizes fresh and healthy food, with produce prepared daily in on-site kitchens, including homemade dressings and sauces, Furlow said.
“We want to have healthy foods that are accessible,” he said. “It’s fast, it’s on its way and we want to make sure when people eat in the Green District they know they’re getting value for money in terms of product because everything comes fresh daily.”
The new breakfast spot in downtown Colorado Springs takes up the space of the former Oscar’s Oyster Bar
The Green District’s Briargate Crossing restaurant will be 2,170 square feet, while the Polaris Pointe location will be slightly smaller at 2,000 square feet.
Each restaurant seats about 20 people; The Polaris Pointe location will also have a drive-through, which will be a first for the Green District chain, Furlow said. The restaurants will each employ 20 to 25 people.
Furlow said he and Doepke expect to add more Green District locations in Colorado Springs and Denver — likely with four in each market.
“We want to get the first few working,” he said. “We never want to go to a location with just one person.”