Looking ahead: Drive-thru salad concept Baby Greens making Austin comeback

Baby Greens will be located at 1508 W. Anderson Ln. (Credit: Lemmo Architecture and Design)
Baby Greens will be located at 1508 W. Anderson Ln. (Credit: Lemmo Architecture and Design)

Healthy fast food. It sounds like an oxymoron. But that is the goal of Sharon Mays, who will bring back her Baby Greens salad restaurant in the spring. The double-lane drive-thru and walk-up restaurant with covered outdoor seating will be located at 1508 W. Anderson Lane near the MetroRail line.

Inspired by a need for convenient and moderately priced healthy food, the former vegetarian originally opened Baby Greens on South First Street in 2004. She followed with two more locations, but operational issues led the former vegetarian to close the shops in 2009 and regroup.

In the six years since, Mays worked in marketing and real estate before running for City Council last year. Over those years she also heard from many customers who wished she would bring back the unique concept. Mays says the time finally felt right to return to the dining scene, and she is excited to bring healthy food to a wide audience.

“I created that brand to serve a fast-food audience, because I think healthy food should be accessible to everybody,” said Mays, who serves on the mayor’s Sustainable Food Policy board. “I know that the demand and the need for healthy fast food is there.”

The menu will feature eight salads, with protein offerings like chicken and likely grilled tofu, as well as a rotating seasonal salad that will allow Mays to source some local product.

Baby Greens will be open for lunch and dinner Monday-Saturday, and Mays is hoping for a March opening and foresees local franchising once the first store is up and running.

Author: Matthew Odam

Restaurant critic & features writer at Austin American @Statesman and @Austin360. Austin-born 6th generation Texan. Left-handed.

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