Chestnut Hill’s Shake Shack will be joined at the Street by a cousin of sorts: California-based Tender Greens, which counts Shake Shack parent company Union Square Hospitality Group as a "significant minority invest[or]," will open at the Street in spring 2018 at 49 Boylston St. The Street, a Chestnut Hill shopping and dining development, is also home to Aquitaine, Ronsky’s, Davio’s, Legal Sea Foods, and a number of other restaurants.
The first Tender Greens opened over a decade ago in Culver City, California and has spread quite a bit around California since then, with 24 locations currently open and a couple more on the way. Manhattan is also getting one soon. In 2015, Union Square Hospitality Group came into the Tender Greens picture with the aim of expanding the chain within California and beyond; it was the first time Danny Meyer’s New York-based restaurant group had invested in an outside interest. As Eater San Francisco reported at the time, Meyer said: "Every now and then, I'll visit a restaurant and love the idea — the food, the people, the culture — so much that I wish I'd thought of it myself. That's exactly what happened with Tender Greens."
Tender Greens falls under the “fine-casual” umbrella: Customers order at a counter, but the overall ambiance feels closer to a full-service restaurant than a fast-food joint. The menu includes a variety of salads, sandwiches, and other entrees, and the company pays a lot of attention to sourcing ingredients responsibly, seasonally, and, in some cases, locally. As Eater New York recently described it, Tender Greens “is kind of a blend between Sweetgreen and Dig Inn, two chains that will likely be Tender Greens’ biggest competitors as it starts out in NYC.” Indeed, Boston’s got both of those as well.
The Chestnut Hill location will be open for lunch and dinner and will have seating for 60 inside and 25 on a seasonal patio. There will be some seasonal menu items that are exclusive to this location.
Tender Greens co-founder and CEO Erik Oberholtzer expressed excitement about this forthcoming expansion, particularly since he has area ties: “I went to culinary school in Providence, cooked on the Cape, and fell in love in Boston while living in Brookline before moving out to Berkeley,” he said via a release. “Boston's rich food culture, neighboring farms, and fishing communities make it an incredibly exciting place to cook. The innovation engine of Boston's academic community and the lifestyle it supports aligns perfectly with our values at Tender Greens.”
Stay tuned for updates as the restaurant approaches its planned spring 2018 opening.
• Tender Greens [Official Site]