Thursday, July 2, 2015

Déjà Vu at Lenox Square: Freshii Reopening

Healthy fast food joint reopening at Lenox Square 

Freshii plans to reopen in Lenox Square's fashion cafe next week. The Toronto, Canada-based eatery first opened in the Fashion Cafe last March.  In early August, a leak from above the restaurant's space caused the restaurant to close. (The leak was allegedly caused from something in California Pizza Kitchen, but that claim was never verified.)  For months, a large trash can sat out in front of the restaurant while the restaurant remained intact but closed.  This past fall, the restaurant was boarded up in black paneling.      

Local operator Tamara Lukens retained the franchise agreement during the closure, but surely got some kind of allowance from Simon for the excessive delays in reopening. I was unable to obtain any official comment from a Simon representative as they were busy preparing for their 4th of July celebrations.  

I continue to think that despite the chain's success in other cities, their location in the Fashion Cafe at Lenox Square will not serve them well.  Their pricing structure, when previously open, priced them above nearly all similar eateries around them.  The consumer who wants/can afford the type of food Freshii offers is more likely to go to True Food Kitchen, a full service restaurant at the front of the mall.  Additionally, in their previous incarnation, Freshii offered burritos priced higher than those offered at Chipotle Mexican Grill, which already exists in the mall.  

For Freshii to be successful in their return to Lenox Square, they should emphasize healthy breakfast options, juices, salads and yogurt.  Offering these items at a reasonable price will make them a destination for health minded diners and breakfast diners seeking alternatives to Chick-fil-A biscuits.  

In other Lenox Square Fashion Cafe news, La Creperie, a crepe eatery that previously replaced the shuttered Hovan Gourmet, abruptly closed yesterday. (I considered eating here once, but was turned off by the quality of the meats being used in the menu items.) La Creperie seemed like an even more amateurish version of the notorious Wafflery eatery.   Subway, which closed last week and was reportedly going to renovate, is in fact closed for good.  No word on what if any new restaurants are on the immediate horizon for these spaces.  

Do you think Freshii will find success in their return to Lenox?  What menu item should they add / take away?  What would you like to see open in the vacant crepe shop and vacant Subway locations?

Please share your thoughts below.  

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Having eaten at both Freshii and TrueFood, I can see several reasons to stop at Freshii. TrueFood often has a line waiting to be seated, it is quite noisy inside, and they have an emphasis on cocktails.