New Oak Brook restaurant offers healthy options
Katie Maschoff, general manager of Protein Bar in Oak Brook, prepares a smoothie for a customer. | Chuck Fieldman—Sun-Times Media
On the menu
Name: Protein Bar
Address: 2040 York Road
Phone number: 630-990-7350
Number of employees: 51
Store hours: 7:30 a.m. to 8 p,m. Monday-Friday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday-Sunday
Updated: March 18, 2013 1:16AM
OAK BROOK — Protein Bar still offers smoothies for sale.
But quite a bit more has been added to the menu since the first Protein Bar location opened three years ago in downtown Chicago.
After opening five stores in Chicago and one near Washington, D.C., Oak Brook became the first suburban Chicago location. The Oak Brook store opened Dec. 28, in between a health club and two other restaurants.
“We started with smoothies, but Matt Matros, who founded the company, wanted to take advantage of the lunch business downtown,” said Katie Maschoff, general manager. “We introduced burritos and salads in an attempt to attract the lunch crowd. The whole menu was revamped in 2011.”
Protein Bar is offering its entire menu in its Oak Brook location, along with a special kids menu, something not available in other stores.
“This location is in a neighborhood with families who have kids,” Maschoff said. “Downtown, people generally don’t have their kids with them.”
So far, the biggest source of business for Protein Bar has come from visitors to neighboring health club.
“We get a lot of people who come in after they work out,” Maschoff said. “Our whole idea is to offer healthy food quick and to have it be flavorful.”
Their goal is to have all items ready in five minutes or less.
Protein Bar offers a variety of salads, bowls, chili, sides, burritos and breakfast items. Maschoff said the southwest salad, spinach and pesto bowl, and Super 6 Salad Mix with romaine lettuce, spinach, broccoli, carrots, kale, and purple cabbage, are among the most popular items.
“We have a lot of choices on our menu, and we make it a point to be knowledgeable about what we have so that we can answer questions for our customers,’ Maschoff said.
Maschoff said Protein Bar in Oak Brook offers an environment that is friendly for adults and kids.
“We want everyone to feel comfortable here,” she said. “I think it’s a friendly environment, and we have free Wi-Fi.”
One of the next major steps for Protein Bar is to build its catering business, Maschoff said.
“We offer delivery and pick-up for those who want it,” she said. “Catering probably will be an important part of our business; it takes time to build that up.”