End of LYFE

Healthy restaurant chain clings to life in Dallas with one left

Healthy restaurant chain clings to life in Dallas with one left

hummus, LYFE Kitchen
In Dallas, it's the end of LYFE as we know it. Photo by Marc Lee

In sad news for diners who like to eat healthy, the LYFE Kitchen chain has closed up shop in Dallas, leaving the Plano outlet as the only remaining branch in Texas.

A spokesperson confirmed that the branches in Dallas' West Village and Preston Center had closed in early March. Staffers at the Plano branch said that business has been good and that they've not heard a closure is coming.

A statement from the company explained that leadership and management team has changed in the past year, and found that some locations were doing better than others.

"After an extensive business review, LYFE Kitchen's new leadership has made the strategic decision to close underperforming locations," the statement reads.

Areas where the franchise has done well include Los Angeles, Tennessee, and Silicon Valley. "In the past several months, we have begun a hyperlocal strategy to focus on these new markets," the statement continues.

An acronym for "Love Your Food Everyday," LYFE was a fast-casual concept where everything on the menu is 600 calories or less. It was launched in 2011 by a group of food industry veterans, including Oprah Winfrey personal chef Art Smith and former McDonald's executives Michael Donahue and Mike Roberts.

Plano was the first DFW location, and it opened in June 2014 at 1900 Preston Rd. in Plano. Its arrival marked it as the third "healthy" chain to enter Dallas, following Seasons 52 and True Food Kitchen.

LYFE had some things the others did not have, including a number of vegan-friendly options, sparkling water on tap for free, and long hours. It perhaps tried to do too much?

It had extra cachet in the team of celebrity chefs it had corralled whose dishes delivered flavor without the usual, not-so-healthy vehicles of fat and cream. That team included executive chef Jeremy Bringardner, who competed (and won) on the TV cooking show Chopped.

Dallas has always had a tentative relationship with "healthy" restaurants, but ours were not the only closures; a branch closed in West Hollywood at the same time, and they are way super healthy in California.