Lunchbox Laboratory to Replace Greenlake Bar & Grill
February 7, 2018|Posted in: Green Lake Restaurants
By Lynsi Burton
A Green Lake institution is closing, but transforming to a burgeoning Seattle-area brand.
Greenlake Bar and Grill at 7200 East Green Lake Drive North, will serve its last burgers Feb. 11.
Then its sister brand, LunchBox Laboratory, will open in its place in March.
John Schmidt, CEO of both the Neighborhood Bar and Grill and the LunchBox Laboratory franchises, says that the makeover is an effort to boost sales at the Green Lake location.
After 17 years of serving families across the street from the lake, the Greenlake Bar and Grill had seen declining sales in the past couple years, Schmidt said. Greenlake was the first of the series of Neighborhood Bar and Grill restaurants, which have since expanded to Eastlake Bar and Grill, Lakeforest Bar and Grill and Bremerton, among other spots.
The Green Lake location had been a sales leader until recently, prompting the effort to turn it from a neighborhood hangout to a destination restaurant like LunchBox, known for its decadent burgers, shakes and “weekly experiments.”
LunchBox Laboratory, which has a location in South Lake Union, has since expanded to Bellevue, Gig Harbor and Redmond, and become “wildly popular,” Schmidt said, and will hopefully stand on its own in the Green Lake neighborhood, where other trendy restaurants have cropped up.
“It creates a broader populace to draw from,” Schmidt said of the new approach.
Schmidt has seen couples dine at Greenlake Bar and Grill on their first date, get married and have children who would become Greenlake customers, he says.
It’s a “fantastic place to do business,” he adds.
He hopes the business will last another 20 years under the “flashier” LunchBox brand.
Schmidt and his brother founded Taco Del Mar in 1992, which was sold to the co-founders of Subway in 2010 after filing for bankruptcy.
After the Feb. 11 service, crews will begin work renovating the 90-year-old building, mostly with cosmetic changes. LunchBox Laboratory is set to open March 12.
Syndicated from SeattlePI.com.
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