This spring, Tempe will welcome the first Arizona location of MAD Greens, a Colorado-based fast-casual restaurant chain that specializes in salads, pressed juices, panini, wraps, and soups.
The company already operates 12 restaurants throughout Colorado and plans to open at least one additional location in metro Phoenix by the summer. The Tempe restaurant will not only be the first in Arizona, but also the first MAD Greens restaurant located outside Colorado.
The first MAD Greens restaurant in Arizona will open this May at Tempe Marketplace. That location will be followed by a second restaurant inside the East Thunderbird Square shopping center, on the southwest corner of Scottsdale Road and Acoma. The Scottsdale restaurant is expected to open in June.
Founded by longtime friends Marley Hodgson and Dan Long in 2004, MAD Greens aims to source as many ingredients as possible from local producers. For the Phoenix restaurants the company has already partnered with farmers and purveyors including Abby Lee Farms, Bella Fresh, Duncan Family Farms, Hickman Farms, and Shamrock Dairy.
The menu will include between 10 and 12 pre-designed salads, all of which will feature names taken from "mad" characters. For example, the restaurant's menu includes the Don Quixote made with baby greens, Hass avocado, Jack cheese, mango, and roasted corn, and the Dionysus made with romaine lettuce, cucumbers, feta cheese, grape tomatoes, Kalamata olives, and red onions.
Customers will also have the option to build their own salad with any of a number of ingredients. Every day MAD Greens will offer at least 20 dressings that will be made from scratch in house.
The Arizona restaurants will also feature several "Arizona-only" menu items -- probably one salad and one panino -- that will be inspired by local produce. The restaurants will also served seasonal limited-time menu options about four or five times a year.
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Hodgson says the idea to open a fast-casual restaurant came in part from watching the growth of Chipotle and Noodle & Company, both of which are based in Colorado. Hodgson, who grew up in Manhattan, says he and Long were also struck by the lack of healthy food options at that time. Hodgson, who had already been working in restaurant management, and Long, who attended culinary school in New York, teamed up to start MAD Greens, which takes the first part of its name from the two founders' initials.
The company plans to announce additional Arizona locations later in 2015 and 2016, with hopes to expand to the Southeast Valley and open additional restaurants in Scottsdale.
For more information check the MAD Greens website.