Healthy bento box lovers, brace. Bento Picnic owner Leanne Valenti plans to open her first brick-and-mortar location at 2600 East Cesar Chavez Street, just down the street from Blue Owl Brewing. It’s expected to open this spring.
Update, April 17: Bento Picnic’s brick and mortar is now open.
The cafe, inspired by Valenti’s travels to Japan, brings a counter-service restaurant complete with her bento boxes, as well as a menu of new items, and dinner and weekend hours. Bento Picnic had been offering catering, kiosk dishes, and lunch delivery.
Valenti’s pop-up lunch last June triggered a higher demand for her healthy dining options. New items include grab ‘n go meals and snacks, curry bowls, and seasonal soups, as well as coffee, specialty teas, and bento baskets. Most of her menu items come naturally gluten-free, and the restaurant plans to offer vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free, and Whole 30-approved options.
Last June, chef Alexis Chong, formerly of Sway and Foreign & Domestic, joined the business that originally opened in 2014.
The location will be open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., and Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
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