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Drive-thru salad concept breaks ground on first St. Pete location

Ashley Morales



A rendering of a Greenlane building. Images provided.

A growing drive-thru salad concept has broken ground on its first location in St. Petersburg.

Greenlane is a health-focused drive-thru that sells salads, wraps and drinks, including kombucha (by the bottle or in slushie form) from St. Pete’s Mother Kombucha. The brand launched in June 2023 with its first location on West Gandy Blvd. in Tampa and is now expanding to two new locations at 2115 N. Dale Mabry Highway in Tampa and 8001 4th Street N. in St. Pete.

The 1,200-sq.-ft. location in St. Pete will be, like all Greenlane locations, drive-thru and pick-up only. One of Greenlane’s selling points is selling fresh, made-to-order items all under $10, which co-founder Chris Kern said is possible by streamlining operations for maximum efficiency and avoiding sit-down dining.

“There’s no dining area or public restrooms, so we’re able to get a smaller piece of real estate and keep a smaller footprint. There’s also less overhead, so we don’t have to cool and heat a typical 2,500 or 3,500 size building that most fast casual or fast food restaurants are, if not larger,” said Kern.

Erica Spector Wishnow, another of Greenlane’s three founders, said the Greenlane concept came from the founders’ extensive experience in the fast food space, believing there was an untapped market for fresh, healthy and filling options that could compete with the convenience of your typical burger-and-fries fare.

“We started in Tampa because we love the market and it’s one of the fastest-growing cities in the country,” Spector Wishnow said. “A lot of new concepts start in Tampa that are very successful, and we wanted to be a part of that exciting growth in the city.”

The 1,200-st.-ft Greenlane location in St. Pete will feature a “distinct drive-thru enclosure.”

“We think the folks in St. Pete deserve to have that alternative, as well, so they don’t have to pay extra for a healthier meal,” Kern added. “There are plenty of other salad and healthier concepts out there, but none of them have drive-thru, and most of them are over $10 [per item]. We wanted to be able to provide an affordable, healthier alternative to the traditional fast food market. If you want to eat something healthy, you shouldn’t have to pay more.”

Greenlane’s founders said they explored other potential locations in the city, but downtown and other condensed areas weren’t the right fit for their drive-thru concept. Kern told the Catalyst the location at 4th Street and 80th Avenue North, situated on a major thoroughfare and close to Gandy Bridge, I-275 and only minutes from downtown St. Pete, will provide an ideal mix of customers.

“We also wanted to be part of the kind of revitalization of the northern part of Fourth Street, as well as be proximate to some of the industrial, commercial businesses and residential areas nearby,” Kern explained.

Greenlane already works with LeRoots Urban Farm in Tampa to source kale, arugula and the 600 lbs. of Romaine lettuce it uses weekly at its West Gandy location, and is in talks with Brick Street Farms to develop a blend of lettuce for its St. Pete location.

Construction on the $1.5 million St. Pete location is expected to take about two to three months, with an anticipated opening in late spring. Greenlane is also developing five more locations in the Greater Tampa Bay Area, including sites in Brandon, Largo, Temple Terrace and Odessa.

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