Eating your greens will be a lot easier for downtown Leesburg visitors starting this fall.
Michele Fisher is preparing for the opening of her flagship restaurant, Lettuce Be Loco, at 208 Church St. SE. The arrival of the restaurant comes as part of a redevelopment of the area behind Market Station spearheaded in part by husband Cory.
Both Fishers have a background in restaurants, so when Cory Fisher began the Church & South development, which involves ground-floor retail spaces below residences, he asked his wife what type of new dining establishment the county needed.
“I was like ‘they need a salad restaurant’,” Michele Fisher recalled. “There’s just nowhere like it. The closest one [you would have to] go to Reston.”
Fisher said locating such an establishment in Leesburg is perfect because of its proximity to so many farmers, and the healthy mindset of the community.
The Fishers were inspired in part by Roots 657, a Lucketts café and market that features many locally sourced products. The two became friends with its co-founders, Chef Rich Rosendale and Muriel Sarmadi, when they still lived in the area. In putting down the foundation for Lettuce Be Loco, they brought Rosendale in as a consultant to help the business be as efficient as possible, with high-quality products.
Initially, the menu will feature at least seven salads, three warm grain bowls, and a few soups, with products sourced from local farms. Included in its specialty salads are the Opa salad, which has a Greek vibe; a Street Corn salad; and Sweets & Beets, featuring sweet potatoes and beets. Customers will also have the option to build their own salads and bowls, Fisher said. There will also be a “Little Locos” menu for the young ones, and an assortment of desserts.
The restaurant, set for a late October opening, will be part of the Church & South development by Atlas Investments, of which Cory Fisher is a partner. The company has applied for a minor special exception from the Town Council that would allow for 10 multi-family units to be constructed as part of a new building on the site, in addition to the existing two at the duplex on 212 Church St.
“Our vision for the project was to revitalize that downtown corner that is Church and South [streets]. Our vision is to make it a new hotspot,” Fisher said.
He points to the new tenants that Lettuce Be Loco will join—Mond Hair Lounge, Mike Aron Visuals, and a recording studio. In addition to the new businesses, they are adding new curb, gutter and sidewalk to match the historic downtown area, and eliminating a driveway to add in green space.
For more information about the restaurant, go to lettucebeloco.com or check out @lettucebeloco on Facebook or Instagram. More information on the Church & South application can be found at here.