For years now, the staff of the 16” On Center hospitality group, which includes Dusek’s, Revival Food Hall, and the Empty Bottle, have been on a quest for the perfect salad. They would discuss the concept as passionately as they discussed their favorite guitarists or why a particular band sucked. Now they have finally decided to do something about it: a salad spot called Electric Greens will open inside Revival at the end of the month.
The idea came together, says 16” On Center managing partner Bruce Finkelman, after a tasting where Brad Alexander, the company’s head of culinary private events and catering, served a salad with an acidic vinaigrette dressing and pickled vegetables. “We were all blown away by it,” says Finkelman, “the energetic taste of it. Why can’t a lunchtime salad be as impactful as a great dinner out?” The salads at Electric Greens, the team decided, would have that same energy from acid and texture.
The menu will offer a choice of eight ready-made salads, all served on a base of greens and adorned with a variety of pickled, fermented, and otherwise loud ingredients, including pickled red onions, apples, and beets; crunch hemp seeds, coconut bacon, and seeded crackers; ricotta salata; goat cheese; and a selection of vinaigrettes. There will also be a make-your-own option.
In addition, Electric Greens will serve avocado toasts along with vegetarian and bone sipping broths enhanced by a choice of flavor bombs that will add extra notes of herbs or spices. “It’s a bath bomb for your sipping broth soul,” Finkelman jokes.
The signs and packaging will reflect 16” On Center’s rock club roots, featuring high-definition photos of vegetables taken in extreme close-up to give them a psychedelic feel.
The launch of Electric Greens, like so many other recent restaurant openings, has been postponed by equipment shipping delays, but Finkelman anticipates that it will be up and running by late January. He’s optimistic that by then, the hospitality business, which has been hampered by the omicron surge that started in December, will have picked up again — even at a lunch spot in the Loop, reliant on office workers who have been doing their jobs from home.
“As a whole, this pandemic has been so difficult to manage from a business and ownership perspective,” he says. “But I’m optimistic that as this variant starts to subside, we’ll start to see numbers creep up again. What’s the opposite?”
Electric Greens, in Revival Food Hall, 125 S. Clark Street, Scheduled to open in late January.