At the ceremonial "forklifting" for Chicago's first LYFE Kitchen in River North yesterday evening, their team elaborated plans for fast-casual domination. Although the first Chicago location won't open for two more months, ownership has already signed leases for two more: at 1603 Orrington Ave in Evanston and 259 E. Erie in Streeterville. The latter, in the Northwestern Medical Center, will have a wraparound patio.
Jennifer Caveness, LYFE's director of construction, says they're "hoping for four-to-five" Chicago-area locations to open by the end of 2014. They're also "on track to have 15 (locations) open in the U.S. by the end of May" including more in California, Denver, Dallas, and here.
Around 150 people gathered on the blocked-off Clark Street sidewalk to watch the "forklifting"—LYFE's version of a ribbon-cutting, involving the ceremonial lifting of oversized plastic forks. Art Smith, along with reformed McDonald's execs Mike Donahue and Mike Roberts, spoke at the event. The River North location is scheduled to open in the second week of November.
· All LYFE Kitchen Coverage [-ECHI-]
· LYFE Kitchen [Official Site]