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Look Inside Healthful Chain Urban Plates’ Debut East Coast Restaurant

The first of many area locations is scheduled to open on Monday, July 16 at Tysons Galleria

The new Urban Plates in Tysons Corner is projected to open on Monday, July 16.
| Rey Lopez/Eater DC
Tierney Plumb is the editor of Eater DC, covering all things food and drink around the nation's capital.

Urban Plates, the California chain determined to make salad-lovers out of diners on both coasts, is opening its first restaurant on this side of the country next week at Tysons Galleria.

The cafeteria-style restaurant’s first area location (2001 International Drive, McLean, Va.) is scheduled to open at 11 a.m. on Monday, July 16 for lunch and dinner service. The upscale eatery, which features gourmet ingredients, high-end suppliers, and colorful cast iron Le Creuset cookware, should get a warm welcome inside the tony shopping complex.

Each Urban Plates outpost sports a rustic-meets-modern aesthetic. In Tysons Corner, nautical roping and a rainbow of glass-blown lighting fixtures hover over dining room tables. Other design elements include a soaring exposed ceiling, clear spice-filled mason jars lining walls, reclaimed wood and window pane detailing, wicker chairs, and leafy plants rising out of copper pots.

Upon arrival, customers can walk right up to the front counter, where they are welcome to choose from the featured salads, sandwiches, soups or stews, large plates, and house-made pastries and cakes. Once they’ve made their selections, the kitchen will put each plate together and hand it to diners as they proceed down the line. If the ordering process seems familiar, it should; the brand was founded by hospitality vet Saad Nadhir, the former CEO of Boston Market.

While the look and feel at the 160-seat location is refined, prices are pretty on par with other fast-casual competitors across the D.C. area. Specialty sandwiches start at $8.95, while larger plates like wild line caught ahi tuna, served with two sides and bread, run $11.95. Stay tuned for more details about the opening menu.

The burgeoning company, which has grown to 13 locations across California over seven years, plans to plant a dozen locations in the D.C. area over the long term. The next will land in Columbia, Maryland (10300 Little Patuxent Parkway) some time in August.

The new Urban Plates is projected to operate from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Sunday through Thursday, and from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Scroll on for a tour of the new restaurant:

Multi-colored light fixtures brighten up the new Urban Plates at Tysons Galleria.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Nature-inspired design accents at Urban Plates include lots of wood and caged grey stones next to tables.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Each 4,000-square-foot Urban Plates sports a polished look — as well as a hard-to-miss logo.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

The new Urban Plates in Tysons Corner includes outdoor seating for over two dozen customers.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Cooking utensils double as wall art at Urban Plates.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Bins full of fresh ingredients await customers at the new Urban Plates.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Kitchen staff adding sauce to a dish at Urban Plates.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Staff at the new Urban Plates in Tysons trained for a few months on the West Coast to get a feel for the budding company.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

The entrance to the new Urban Plates at Tysons Galleria.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

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