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Life Alive Will Bring Its Vegetable-Packed Grain Bowls to Back Bay Next

Panera and Au Bon Pain founder Ron Shaich is driving Life Alive’s next era of expansion

Three vegetarian dishes sit on a bar next to a window, paired with a glass of orange-colored juice.
Life Alive food
Abigail Jean Photography

Life Alive is at it again: A fifth location of the growing vegetarian restaurant group will open this spring at 431 Boylston St. in Boston’s Back Bay, replacing an Au Bon Pain. The newest Life Alive will look and feel like the recently opened Brookline location (888 Commonwealth Ave., near Boston University), per a rep, a bit of a sleek and almost minimalist departure from the wildly colorful older locations in Cambridge (765 Massachusetts Ave.), Salem (281 Essex St.), and Lowell (194 Middle St.).

The Lowell location was Life Alive’s first, debuting back in 2004. The restaurant expanded slowly, adding Cambridge in 2010 and Salem in 2012, while later rumors of expansion (another Cambridge location in 2013-2014, Jamaica Plain in 2015) didn’t come to fruition.

But now Ron Shaich is a partner — the same Ron Shaich who founded Panera and Au Bon Pain and is currently a driving force behind another local restaurant group’s rapid expansion, Tatte Bakery & Cafe. With Shaich onboard, Life Alive added its Brookline location this summer and will tackle Back Bay next.

Life Alive drinks
Life Alive drinks
Abigail Jean Photography

Life Alive serves a meat-free menu that features organic ingredients and plenty of dishes aimed at the “health and wellness” set, from açaí bowls and wheatgrass shots to CBD coffee and activated charcoal-infused Mexican chocolate lattes. While fans of the older trio of locations are familiar with a menu jam-packed with, for example, grain bowls with names like “The Lover,” “The Fool,” and “The Rebel,” the Brookline location offers a more streamlined selection (and some name changes). Still, the idea is the same, and there are plenty of grain bowls, salads, smoothies, lattes, and lots more, not to mention Intelligentsia coffees and teas.

Stay tuned for updates on an opening timeline, and take a peek at the Brookline location below for an idea of what the Back Bay location will look like.

Life Alive Brookline
Life Alive Brookline
Life Alive Brookline
Life Alive Brookline
Abigail Jean Photography

Life Alive [Official Site]

Life Alive (Central Square, Cambridge)

765 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139 (617) 354-5433 Visit Website

Life Alive (Brookline/Boston University)

888 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, MA 02446 (617) 903-3256 Visit Website

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