Two words: vegan fro-yo.
And it’s coming to Greenville this May in the former American Roadside Burger location at 301 E. McBee Ave. that closed in February.
The new restaurant, green fetish (lower caps intended), is a unique-to-Greenville, organic, farm-to-table, fast-casual concept that will be allergen-friendly, vegan-friendly, refined sugar-free. The menu will feature 10-12 grain and greens-based bowls, acai and pitaya bowls, smoothies, toasts, wraps, superfood lattes, and vegan frozen yogurt, says operator Chris Yun.
Backed by the family that operates Lieu’s Chinese Bistro and both locations of Otto Izakaya, this departure from the Asian-inspired menu is a complete about face from those gluten and fried-food heavy menus.
Peter Lieu, co-owner of Lieu’s and Otto and Yun’s uncle, is quick to say he is not a fan of healthy food.
“Salad to me is rabbit food,” he says. “I can’t eat it without a really good dressing.”
Yun’s dressings – all vegan – are full of flavor, Lieu says, which is one reason why he and the family are backing this venture dreamed up by 23-year-old Yun, who currently works at Lieu’s and the Woodruff Road Otto location while planning the new restaurant.
Yun graduated about 18 months ago from University of Georgia with a degree in finance, though his ultimate goal was to open and operate a restaurant, as his entire family has done for years.
The particular bent towards healthy menu items stemmed from his own health journey, having lost 90 pounds in 12 months by simply making better food choices.
“It showed me the importance of food,” he says. “You can eat healthy, but it can taste good. It’s important for people to know how to take care of your body.”
After living in Atlanta, Yun saw many more fast-casual, healthy dining options that offered vegan and gluten free choices available than in his hometown, and he wanted to bring that idea to Greenville.
The location for green fetish, steps from CycleBar and a block from Main Street, will have seating indoors and out for about 100 guests. The barn wood from the former burger concept has been removed, and Yun plans to keep the décor minimalistic with white and natural wood.
Concepts offering similar health-focused menus around the downtown area include Southern Pressed Juicery, Happy + Hale, Caviar and Bananas, Snack Works, and Kuka Juice.
According to his description, Yun plans to almost combine all of those into one – offering meat-eaters a bowl with meat and potatoes called “The Carnivore,” the create-your-own bowl option, several kinds of smoothies and fruit-heavy bowls, organic coffee, plenty of gluten free options, beer, wine, an in-house charcoal lemonade, iced tea sweetened with agave nectar, and, of course, the plant-based frozen yogurt in matcha (bright green) and charcoal (black) flavors.
“Everything I cook is with minimal ingredients so the majority of people can enjoy them,” Yun says. “I don’t want anyone to come in here and feel like they can’t eat anything.”