Move over, LeBron James: It’s another former Miami Heat star’s chance at a lucrative career in Miami’s healthy dining scene.
Ray Allen and his wife, Shannon, a cooking show host, will focus on health-oriented cuisine with Grown, an organic fast-food restaurant set to open in March in South Miami at 8211 S. Dixie Hwy.
James and his wife, Savannah, opened The Juice Spot in Brickell in December 2013 before closing the juice bar almost as quickly as LeBron James came and went from the Miami Heat.
The Juice Spot closed early this year, leaving a vacancy in the field of basketball player-owned healthy eateries in Miami.
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But Allen’s will be different.
When Grown opens it will very much be a concept unlike anything else designed to be accessible by everyone, from the weekend warrior to the soccer mom and anyone in between.
Ray Allen, former Miami Heat shooting guard
Allen’s effort, Grown, was inspired by his son’s battle with Type 1 diabetes. Nine-year-old Walker’s struggle to balance a busy life with nutrient-rich foods with managing a busy lifestyle and getting the nutrient-rich food he needs inspired mom Shannon to create her own solution, according to a release.
“I had an aha moment where I realized I couldn’t sit around helpless waiting for someone else to create a fast-food option that met our family’s dietary needs, and as we did our research it became obvious that this wasn’t a struggle unique to us, families everywhere are looking for convenience without compromise,” she said.
Shannon Allen, who is stars in the cooking show she created, The Pre-Game Meal on Boston’s regional Comcast SportsNet, partnered with a team of nutrition experts to conceptualize the restaurant.
The menu was created with the help of executive chef Todd Kiley of Rainforest Cafe and will include locally sourced, organic breakfast, lunch and dinner items between $4 and $18. Menu items include soups, salads, sandwiches and wraps, gluten-free baked goods, cold-pressed juices, fruit smoothies and coffee.
Grown will have drive-through, carry-out and quick grab-and-go options.
“People want to be healthier, eat cleaner and feel better about what they’re putting in their bodies,” said Ray Allen, who is currently a free agent. “I know this from personal experience, and when Grown opens it will very much be a concept unlike anything else, designed to be accessible by everyone, from the weekend warrior to the soccer mom and anyone in between.”
The Allens aren’t stopping there. Virtually every inch of the restaurant will be environmentally friendly.
The 1,900-square-foot space will include a rooftop garden where local farmers will grow vegetables, greens and herbs for use in the restaurant’s kitchen. The building’s facade will be built from 100-year-old reclaimed barn wood and an interactive iPad bar will encourage kids to play nutritional- and fitness-themed games.
Even the menus and kids meal packaging will be plantable.
On the Facebook page for The Pre-Game Meal, Shannon Allen said the opening was the result of six years of “conceptualizing, planning, assembling an amazing team, scouting locations and building our flagship.”
“We are almost #grown!” she wrote.