“We believe food can make you feel better,” CEO of celebrity-backed restaurant says.
True Food Kitchen will open its 25th restaurant, and the third in Florida, this week at St. Johns Town Center.
Focusing on what it calls “health-driven” food that is dominated by vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free dishes, the Phoenix-based chain offers starters, salads, pizzas, bowls, sandwiches, entrees, desserts and Saturday-Sunday brunch.
Meat and fish dishes include fennel chicken sausage pizza, Mediterranean chicken pita, grass-fed burger, grilled salmon, and grilled fish and grass-fed steak tacos.
“We believe food can make you feel better,” said CEO Christine Barone. “As long as you are willing to come in to try us, you’ll be a convert.”
True Food Kitchen contains a full bar offering specialty cocktails such as a lime and coconut colada and a pomegranate margarita.
True Food Kitchen is scheduled to open at 11 a.m. Wednesday at 5205 Big Island Drive, the former location of Mitchell’s Fish Market.
It renovated the 8,064-square-foot restaurant, which seats 201 customers inside and 50 outside.
“We invest a lot in our environment,” said Barone, who declined to provide an investment cost. Records show at least $1.3 million in construction-related expenses.
The interior is light with greens, whites, browns and wood.
Some chairs and light shades are made of recycled materials.
It employs 135 people and continues to hire. Christina Fox, who relocated from Chicago, is general manager.
Hours will be 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday; and 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday.
Brunch hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
The menu features classics as well as seasonal changes.
The 10-year-old chain follows the findings of celebrity Dr. Andrew Weil, considered an expert on healthy eating.
Prices range from $7 for soup to $26 for striped bass.
Salads are $10-$12; pizzas are $12-$15; bowls are $14 with meat and fish additions available from $4 to $9; sandwiches are $12-$16; and entrees are $14-$26.
The website is truefoodkitchen.com.
True Food Kitchen operates in Jacksonville, Boca Raton and Naples in Florida. Barone said it also is looking in Tampa, where she attended high school, and Orlando, where her sister lives.
She said Jacksonville was chosen based on customer requests and the chain’s relationship with landlord Simon Property Group.
Celebrity Oprah Winfrey is an investor in the company.