Honeygrow, a growing Philadelphia-based quick-serve chain that offers create-your-own stir-fry, cold-pressed juices, and salads will open its first Chicago outpost this morning in the Fulton Market District. This will be its 19th store — and first in the Midwest — for the company started by Justin Rosenberg. The restaurants are unique to each market and like to drum up the fresh-and-local aspects of its menus.
The list of local purveyors and ingredients on Honeygrow’s August menu include Italian sausage from Chicago’s Butcher & Larder, roasted corn from Oaktown, Indiana’s Cardinal Farms, and yogurt from Country View Dairy in Hawkeye, Iowa. The Chicago location in nestled next to Shake Shake and Do-Rite Donuts.
Unlike other fast-casual concepts, customers use a kiosk to input their stir-fry or salad order from a list of ingredients. The kiosks also allow one to choose from signature recipes like spicy garlic, or from only-in-Chicago stir-fry creations like “The Capone,” (freshly-made egg white noodles, tomato-basil sauce, Italian sausage, roasted red peppers, organic baby spinach, red onions, grape tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, parmesan). Honeygrow’s menu is tailored to each city. In D.C. they serve a Chesapeake crab stir-fry, and in Philly they offer a stir-fry based on the city’s roast pork sandwich.
Honeygrow also offers a fresh fruit bar — called “Honeybar” — offering seasonal fruits, toppings ranging from yogurt to whipped cream, local honey (wildflower honey from Hidden Acres farm out of Fennimore, Wisconsin; and Buckwheat honey from Papa’s Natural Honey in Naperville) and maple syrup sourced from Cashton, Wisconsin. They also serve gluten- and cold-pressed juices with names like “Orange You Thirsty” (orange, carrot, lemon, ginger) and “Better Off Red” (watermelon, beet, lemon, raspberry).
Chicago is part of a rapid expansion for the chain. Rosenberg told Eater DC that he intends to open eight new DC locations over the next two years. About 70 percent of their business is in stir-fry. Lunch and dinner business are split evenly, he added.
While Chicago has seen an abundance of salad chains that offer an alternative to fast food, stir fry is a new to the fast-casual market. The Midwest can discover this new option at 10:30 a.m. today when Honeygrow opens.
Honeygrow, 179 N. Morgan St. (312) 631-3923, Open 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily