Baby Greens was known for its salads and wraps that Mays served to customers for six years before closing in October 2009. The drive-thru restaurant was previously located on Burnet Road.
“Things weren’t really coming together,” said Mays, a native North Austinite. “The restaurant was very successful, but there were pieces that weren’t working. I thought I was never going to figure it out while it was open, and I decided to close and try to fix it.”
Mays hopes to reopen her business by February or March at 1508 W. Anderson Lane on the site of a former automobile repair shop.
“It’s right in the middle of an asphalt jungle where no healthy food lives,” she said. "It’s in a neighborhood I feel needs healthy fast food.”
The new Baby Greens menu will include former customer favorites such as the Cobb, Greek and Sharon—or chef’s—salads. Mays said she also will offer the popular strawberry lemonade she used to serve and is looking into other healthy drink options.
She said she also plans to add new menu items and possibly offer a kale salad and a seasonal farm-to-table option to support local farmers.
“I created this restaurant so that fast-food customers could have a healthy meal,” Mays said. “A lot of times people don’t eat healthy food because it’s expensive. Can we serve organic and still make it affordable to someone who has $10 or less to spend on lunch?”
Finding the perfect location was one reason it has taken six years to reopen. She also took a break last year to run for the District 4 seat on Austin City Council. Mays said a pep talk from her father—and the fact she still has several people ask her each month about reopening—made the timing right.
“It was a novel idea: drive-thru salads,” Mays said. “One of the biggest reasons why [Baby Greens] is coming back now is the demand for a healthy fast food option is only growing. Austin is much more savvy about its dining needs.”
Mays chose Anderson Lane because of the existing locally owned businesses and the revitalization of the roadway. She is planning to have about half of the asphalt torn out and replaced with grass.
“I really wanted to create a trend and not just slap coat of paint on the building,” she said “[My goal] is really to make it look nice for this neighborhood."
COMING SOON—Austin resident Amin Esar will open the first Austin franchise of Houston-based Russo’s New York Pizzeria in late 2015 at Northcross Mall, 2525 W. Anderson Lane, Ste. 100. The restaurant will serve specialty pizzas, salads, soups and homemade pastas. The chain already has a location in Pflugerville. www.nypizzeria.com
EXPANSION—Twin Liquors located at 8030 Mesa Drive is expanding from 2,600 to 3,700 square feet to allow for an expanded selection of beer, wine and spirits as well as a walk-in beer cooler. The expanded space will be completed Nov. 1. 512-346-1861. www.twinliquors.com