Sweetgreen, a cult-favorite salad chain known for its completely customizable salads and bowls, will open its first Dallas location before the end of the year.
A representative for the chain tells Eater that Sweetgreen will make its debut at 3636 McKinney Avenue in Uptown later this year, bringing the wildly popular salads and rice bowls to Dallas for the first time. Founded in Washington, D.C. in 2007, Sweetgreen expanded to Texas in 2019 with a location in Houston, and the first Austin outpost opened in 2020.
“It took a little longer than we thought it would to find the right location and where it would fit,” says chief development officer Jim McPhail. “We have to find the right supply chain that can guarantee the quality of our products, and we have to find the right real estate that makes sense for our brand. If we can’t find the right place to build the scratch kitchen that we want, it won’t work.”
In that kitchen, Sweetgreen will prepare and serve salads and grain bowls made with produce sourced from local farms. Outside of customizable salads and menu favorites like the garden cobb salad, the menu boasts dishes like a crispy rice bowl, with blackened chicken, tons of veggies, and spicy cashew dressing, and the “Shroomami” bowl, made with roasted sesame tofu, portobello mushrooms, beets, kale, and miso-sesame-ginger dressing.
The COVID-19 pandemic encouraged Sweetgreen to rethink some of its design elements, which will be reflected in the Dallas location. The Uptown restaurant will boast two separate entrances — one intended for in-person dining, and a second on the opposite side of the restaurant for delivery couriers and takeout orders. “We learned some things during the pandemic,” McPhail says. “Now, we’ll be able to separate those flows in the store, which makes for a much more calming experience for dining in.
Uptown won’t be the last Sweetgreen in DFW, either. The company is currently planning a “very significant deployment” throughout the metroplex, with several outposts in the works for the future. McPhail wasn’t ready to announce any of those additional locations just yet, but did suggest that the chain is looking throughout the city of Dallas right now, with plans to expand into the suburbs later.
The pandemic is also impacting Sweetgreen’s ability to quickly build restaurants, which are unique to each location. “We’ve learned that everything is much more cautious. The timelines to get permits are greatly extended, and we’ve had to change the way we build, with different sized crews” McPhail says. “We’re very focused on being socially aware and not being a spreader location.”
As such, McPhail isn’t quite ready to commit to a timeline for Sweetgreen’s Dallas debut. Right now, the McKinney Avenue location is expected to arrive sometime this winter, in the fourth quarter of 2021.