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Salads UP on Liberty

Choose-your-own greens from two recent U-M grads

by Sally Mitani

Published in February, 2015

Salads UP is the brainchild of two recent Michigan grads, Max Steir (business) and Robert Mayer (history and econ), who met as roommates on North Campus. Mayer says, "We saw an opening here for something like this. We took plenty of time doing due diligence. Neither one of us had any restaurant experience, so that's why it took so long."

Took so long? They just graduated in 2013, and they put a restaurant where no restaurant has ever been. The small freestanding building has been an office space since 4 Seasons Perfume departed in 2010. "We put in the smallest commercial kitchen possible," Mayer says, which left room for thirty-two seats and the long assembly line where you watch salad being made.

It's a relatively simple concept: salads, plus a few other things--soup, some fresh cold-pressed juices (basically salads in a blender), or salad stuffed into a wrap. However, manager Nicholas Simmons points out, salads are pretty flexible: they can be loaded with meats, cheeses, and nuts to the point where they stretch the definition of salad, or they can be lean and green. Invent your own, or choose one of their suggested recipes. They're not premade, Simmons stresses, but they are quicker to make because "there's no back-and-forth conversation with the customer."

Simmons says that while the serving ware is plastic, it's biodegradable. And a lot of the restaurant's interior "is made out of the Solway house. You guys wrote about it" in May 2014. Architectural Salvage Warehouse supplied these particular remains, though many others got a share of the house on Spring St. that Gail Solway bought and carefully dismantled.

Salads UP, 611 E. Liberty. 368-9385. Mon.-Fri. 10:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m., Sat. & Sun. 11 a.m.-10 p.m.     (end of article)

[Originally published in February, 2015.]


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