From the group behind Protein Bar—which brought high-protein shakes, quinoa bowls, and bar-ritos to fitness-minded Chicagoans—comes Thrive360 Eatery (37 S. LaSalle St., Loop, 312-801-3909), a 35-seat fast casual spot for the health-conscious mainstream.
With a growing number of people looking to eat better on the run, Protein Bar founder Matt Matros saw an opportunity to expand his mission beyond his 18-location chain (in Illinois, Colorado, and Washington, D.C.) by launching a “holistic” sister restaurant, says spokeswomen Julie Saliba.
Thrive360’s menu lists calorie, micronutrient, and protein counts, but is more focused on flavor with a broader approach to nutrition. Several consulting chefs advised on the menu, but the driving force bringing it to life is operations chef Jeff Basalik, who joined Protein Bar about eight months ago.
“When I came aboard, we all had very much the same goals in mind, as well as the [healthy] lifestyle factor,” Basalik says. “I think we did a really good job with this menu. Everything is artfully done but in a fast way.”
Dishes include four each of seasonally rotating salads and heftier grains and greens, such as the super food harvest salad with spinach, quinoa, roasted sweet potatoes, turkey bacon, hard-boiled egg, and feta tossed in housemade chia-citrus vinaigrette; five wraps; customizable plates with choice of protein (chicken breast, braised beef, locally made tofu, or baked falafel) and two sides, such as roasted sweet potato salad. Ordering is done on touchscreen kiosks.
The only overlap with Protein Bar is the beverage menu, which features the same raw juices, protein shakes, and kombucha drinks that fittingly launched Matros’ first brand. Thrive360 will also offer kombucha on tap. The fermented drink will be a key component of a seasonal mixologist-created mocktail menu. Come June, Thrive360 will introduce healthy happy hours with kombucha flights and bites starting at 4 p.m. Just like a bar, but healthier. Now we’re getting the hang of it.