A shiny new location of Life Alive arrives in Boston on Wednesday, June 12. This is the fifth location of the growing vegetarian restaurant chain, which has expanded in part due to the guidance of Ron Shaich, who founded Panera and Au Bon Pain and is now on his own, investing in several pieces of the Boston-area restaurant world, including Life Alive and Tatte Bakery & Cafe.
The new Life Alive debuts this week at 431 Boylston St. in Boston’s Back Bay, replacing an Au Bon Pain. Its feel will resemble the fairly new Brookline location (888 Commonwealth Ave., near Boston University), and it will join older locations in Cambridge (765 Massachusetts Ave.), Salem (281 Essex St.), and Lowell (194 Middle St.).
Leah Dubois, Life Alive’s culinary director, told Eater that Back Bay was an obvious draw for a new restaurant.
“Accessibility is really what we’re all about,” she said. “We want people to feel included and comfortable and welcome in our space.”
Life Alive has been around since 2004, when the first location opened in Lowell. It later expanded to Cambridge in 2010 and Salem in 2012. With Shaich’s involvement since 2015, the newer locations in Brookline and Back Bay have a different look and feel, while the first three locations maintain their retro Life Alive vibe. The Back Bay location was designed by Phenomena and built by Cornerstone.
The restaurants all serve fully vegetarian menus, with grain and green bowls, soups, smoothies, and more.
According to Dubois, all the classics will carry over to Boylston Street’s Life Alive, with a new seasonal salad on the forthcoming summer menu, prepared with watermelon, feta, and lime vinaigrette. There will also be a selection of noodle bowls featuring house-made ramen noodles. All of Life Alive’s soups are made in-house every day, and there are vegan soups available.
“As a complement to our food, we have an incredible juice and smoothie bar,” Dubois said. “We are going to be adding a new line of smoothie bowls.” Life Alive will also have a “free-spirited cocktail bar” — as in, non-alcoholic — with items like iced teas, mango lassi, and more. There will also be non-caffeinated lattes made with a house-made coconut cream, plus CBD coffee and CBD matcha drinks.
The fifth location for Life Alive leaves room for the group to continue to grow, but that’s still to come.
“We’re one restaurant at a time,” Dubois said. “We want to be here, be now.”
• Life Alive Expands to Boston’s Back Bay in Spring 2019 [EBOS]
• Life Alive [Official Site]