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: