LYFE Kitchen, a "lifestyle" concept founded by former McDonald's executives Mike Roberts and Mike Donohue, along with investment banker Steve Sidwell, celebrated the opening of its second unit, in Culver City, Calif., in early March. Executives took the opportunity to tout aggressive expansion plans, beginning with additional California units slated to open later this year in Tarzana and West Hollywood.

During the grand opening, Roberts announced that LYFE Kitchen's first signed franchisee, Carey Cooper, will expand the concept in Chicago. He also noted that the brand seeks additional corporate locations in northern California and "outstanding locations and talented franchisees nationwide, with a focus on Denver, New York City, Austin, Texas, Boston and Washington, D.C."

LYFE Kitchen's menu focuses on healthful, flavorful, fresh dishes prepared with high-quality, locally raised ingredients. All dishes must have less than 600 calories and 1,000 mg of sodium.

The concept's ambiance is warm and inviting and features extensive use of sustainable building materials including furniture made from recycled milk and juice cartons, bamboo tables and salvaged Sequoia wood community tables. A signature design element is a hydroponic wall that grows micro-greens inside each restaurant. All new locations going forward will be certified LEED Platinum by the U.S. Green Building Council.