A few years ago, I wrote about the advent of Freshii, a Chipotle-style salad chain that was supposed to invade our county by the dozens and give us a reason to eat our vegetables. The Canadian chain had plans to open over 30 stores here within 5 years. There's also been news that similar competitors called Saladworks and Tossed would join them.
So far, Freshii's grand ambitions has produced only one store at The Bluffs which debuted sometime last summer. If you're judging by the number of stores actually open, Saladworks would seem to be the one winning the salad arms race. It opened its second store in Costa Mesa last December. The first one, in Orange, had been open for a few months before that. But that's better than Tossed, which has yet to make its appearance in OC.
Now these out-of-state (and foreign) chains have one more local competitor to contend with. A local upstart called Salad Republic will open tomorrow at University Center, across from UCI. It's located across from Yogurtland and a few steps away from Berkeley Dog. They describe themselves in job listings as "a fast casual concept serving gourmet sandwiches, salads and Greek yogurts." It asks applicants that "if you have a great attitude, can work hard and want to be part of our concept from the ground up, we want you to stop by and apply."