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Launched in 2014 by journalist Sean Baker, Med City Beat is an independent news source covering government, business and culture in Rochester, Minnesota.

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Zubays planting the seeds for new lunch option downtown

Zubays planting the seeds for new lunch option downtown

Lettuce tell you about a new concept coming to downtown Rochester.

Championship Dining, the restaurant group behind Porch and Cellar and Hot Chip, is planning on converting the ZZest lunch spot into a soup and salad counter. The space is located in the skyway-level food court on 1st Ave SW.

"Lettuce Unite will offer hearty, good-for-you salads," said co-owner LeeAnn Zubay. "Fresh greens, hearty grains, lots of veggies — but also protein-forward beef, chicken, shrimp and tofu. The salads are well thought out in flavor and texture. There’s a chef behind everything we do."

The transition will mark the final chapter for the ZZest brand, which until last year included a full-scale restaurant, along with the food court lunch counter and artisan market. ZZest Café & Bar, formerly located along 16th Street Southwest, closed last year to become Hot Chip Burger Bar. 

"We tend to keep up with the culinary trends (sometimes too far ahead)," Zubay said in an email Wednesday. "But it’s the thing we love to do. We see crafted, freshly put together, hearty salads as a new trend. Plus, we love to eat them! So we are ready to make the change. It’s going to be fun."

The Zubays, now in their fourth decade launching innovative restaurant concepts, plan to have Lettuce Unite ready to go by mid to late September.

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