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America’s Largest Vegetarian Chain Plans Five Chicago Restaurant Openings

Veggie Grill should make its Chicago debut in February

Veggie Grill serves the Beyond Burger.
Ashok Selvam is the editor of Eater Chicago and a native Chicagoan armed with more than two decades of award-winning journalism. Now covering the world of restaurants and food, his nut graphs are super nutty.

UPDATE: A Veggie Grill rep clarified and said the three locations without addresses don’t have opening dates yet. Their openings are “very much TBD.” Amended story follows.

Chicagoans who made New Year’s resolutions to eat less meat have good news: Veggie Grill, the nation’s largest vegetarian fast-casual restaurant chain, plans to open its first Chicago restaurant in mid-February at the northeast corner of Clark and Broadway streets. But that’s not the chain’s only news — it intends to open four more Chicago-area locations at an undetermined date. The locations are highlighted by a Loop restaurant at 204 N. Wells Street that should open in March.

The remaining three locations should open over the summer and fall, part of the first Midwest expansion for the chain, according to a restaurant rep. The rep didn’t immediately disclose the addresses for the trio of restaurants. The first Chicago restaurant, 614 W. Diversey Parkway, will break the design mold of the 12-year-old chain, he said. It will include a new logo and kitchen layout. The rep described it as the “next generation of Veggie Grill.”

While those who made resolutions to reduce meat intake will help business, longtime vegetarians and vegans around LA know about the restaurants. Veggie Grill is a Southern California chain that debuted in 2006 and serves veggie burgers (made with the Beyond Burger patty), meat-free fried Chick’n sandwiches (made with Gardein). They also serve salads and other bowls. The company’s website lists 28 restaurants in California, Oregon, and Washington.

The Diversey space remains under construction, and the chain’s hiring. Stay tuned for more news on the chain’s arrival to Chicago.