A California salad-and-more chain with backing from Shake Shack’s CEO now has two locations planned for the Boston area. One Tender Greens location is set to open in Chestnut Hill at The Street (49 Boylston St.), as the company announced back in August 2017, while a second will land at Copley Place in Back Bay (100 Huntington Ave.) The chain is “kind of a blend between Sweetgreen and Dig Inn,” per Eater NY. Both of those brands already have a strong (and growing) foothold in the Boston area.
Tender Greens first opened more than 10 years ago in Culver City, California, and has expanded to 26 locations across the state. In 2015, restaurant mogul Danny Meyer — the CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group, which is behind Shake Shack and more — made an investment in Tender Greens that has fueled the brand’s expansion eastward. The first East Coast Tender Greens opened in Manhattan last month. In a first look at the restaurant, Eater NY critic Ryan Sutton noted that it “feels like the fare at Tender Greens is tailored in its bland international indistinctness for the type of crowd that gets excited about Ed Sheeran music, airlines that revamp their first class cabins, and [a luxury condo complex in Brooklyn].”
Now, Boston prepares for the arrival of Tender Greens, with Chestnut Hill’s location set to open in April and the Back Bay restaurant following suit in August.
True to its name, Tender Greens serves a variety of salads, with both simple and tricked-out options, including one topped with a lobster tail. Unlike fast-casual salad chains like Sweetgreen, however, Tender Greens’ scope extends beyond salads into sandwiches, soups, and sides, plus what it dubs “plates,” which consist of a protein option, a small salad, and a veggie side — putting it more in Dig Inn territory. Sutton’s advice: “Eat proteins, mostly fried chicken here.”
Tender Greens gave up on cash transactions in January, touting “the future” of digital transactions and the speed of service. “You’ll get your food faster, our team gets back hours of their day, and it’s better for the environment,” the brand explained on its website. However, things are different in Massachusetts: Due to state law, both the Chestnut Hill and Back Bay locations will accept cash.
Update, 3/22, 9 a.m.: This story has been updated to reflect new information about cash transactions at Massachusetts Tender Greens locations.