True Food Kitchen to open its first restaurant in New Jersey

Al Urbanski
Real Estate Editor & Manager
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True Food Kitchen, a must-have tenant at upscale town centers, joins Simon's Shops at Riverside in Northern New Jersey.

True Food Kitchen, co-founded by Dr. Andrew Weil and co-funded by Oprah Winfrey, announced it will open a new location at The Shops at Riverside in Hackensack, N.J. -- just five miles from the George Washington Bridge.

True Food, which operates 43 locations in 17 states, is looking to lay a foundation in the Tri-State area. The Riverside location will be its first in New Jersey and it has just one restaurant in New York at the Roosevelt Field mall in Long Island. Next year it will open another restaurant at the Menlo Park Mall in Edison.

Shops at Riverside owner Simon Property Group has been redeveloping and re-tenanting the center since 2017 to bring more traffic to what was once the most popular shopping center in the populous North Jersey region. It relocated the Cheesecake Factory, installed AMC’s first dine-in theater concept location, refined its luxury retail row, and added sculptures and a water installation.

The True Food Kitchen will occupy a 6,628-sq.-ft. space with 1,200 sq. ft. of patio furnished with eco-friendly materials like dining chairs made of recycled soda bottles. One of the restaurant’s taglines is “Eat More Color,” and its menu features fresh, in-season produce and nutrient-dense ingredients that adhere to the anti-inflammatory diet detailed in several books by Dr. Weil.

Social distancing has figured into the seating layout at the Shops at Riverside and True Food Kitchen offers meals-to-go designed for groups of two, four, or six. Carry-out cocktails, too, are an option.

The Hackensack location will offer relief to laid-off restaurant workers in the area. Beginning on February 8, True Food will conduct a three-week job fair to fill 70 front- and back-of-the-house positions.