ITHACA, N.Y. — The Ithaca restaurant scene is quite expansive for a city of its size. Prepare to add another option to the list.

CoreLife Eatery, an “active lifestyle” restaurant chain founded in Syracuse, will be opening an Ithaca location in the former Yogurtland space at 740 South Meadow Street in South Meadow Square shopping complex.

“It’ll be perfect for Ithaca, we expect it will be a smash,” said Eric Recoon, a spokesman for Benderson Development.

CoreLife Eatery bills itself as “simple, clean eating”. The restuarant menu largely consists of greens (salads), grains (mostly quinoa, wild rice blends and rice noodles) and bone broth, which is used as a stock for soups. The restaurants are a cafeteria-style “fast casual” format, similar to a Chipotle or Panera. The menu offers the option of pre-selected bowl mixes, or a choose-your-own ingredients option. Drinks offered include juices, teas and cold-brewed coffee.

According to the restaurant website, CoreLife pledges that its food is free of trans fats, sweeteners, artificial colors, other artificial additives, growth hormones and GMOs. Most of the bowls range from $6-$11.

The first CoreLife Eatery opened in the Syracuse suburbs in 2015, and today they have eight locations with five more in the works (the website has yet to be updated to include the Ithaca location). The nearest existing location is in Vestal.

“Demographically, Ithaca is like our perfect sweet spot,” said Todd Mansfield, one of the business partners who heads CoreLife. “It’s loaded with millennials, loaded with active lifestyle people who care about their well-being, {there are} two major colleges within a few miles that place an emphasis on health and wellness. Our brand really speaks into those areas, we’re a restaurant of health and wellness.”

The company announced last summer that they hope to open 300 locations in the next three to five years, of which about 100 will be corporate-owned and 200 will be franchised. The Ithaca location will be owned by the corporate enterprise. About 15 CoreLife Eatery locations are expected to open throughout 2017. Locations are 3,500 to 5,200 square feet in size, with most of them in or near suburban shopping centers.

Mansfield says the plan is to have the Ithaca location open on April 7th.

Brian Crandall

Brian Crandall reports on housing and development for the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached at bcrandall@ithacavoice.com.