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Chicago's Doc B's Fresh Kitchen Headed for Fort Lauderdale

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Chicago-based Doc B’s Fresh Kitchen — known in Illinois for its farm-to-table mentality and health-conscious salads, burgers, sandwiches, and signature wok bowls —  will open its first South Florida location in Fort Lauderdale this December.

Doc B's founder Craig Bernstein says he knew at age 10 that he wanted to be a restaurateur. The now-33-year-old opened his first restaurant in September 2013 in his hometown of Chicago. The business is named after his father, a physician who passed away in 2010.

The Fort Lauderdale grand opening marks the second Doc B's restaurant in Florida following the first store that debuted in Tampa in 2015. The Fort Lauderdale restaurant will be one of five new markets Bernstein plans to take his fast-casual brand to over the next two years, including Aventura in 2018 and Austin, Fort Worth, and Dallas, Texas, in 2017.

Bernstein says he first envisioned the brand as a Houston's-meets-Panera Bread: a quick-serve restaurant with quality food and an upscale look. Today, Doc B's is best known for its health-minded fare and a menu that claims to offer "a little bit of something for everyone."

Following in the footsteps of previous Doc B's locations in Chicago and the one-year-old Tampa restaurant, the Doc B's new Fort Lauderdale location will have its own look and feel, says Bernstein, and a menu that reflects the area demographic.

But it will also include time-tested customer favorites, such as a tuna salad made with seared ahi, avocado, mango, field greens, and a housemade ginger dressing or "the number six," a spicy, crispy chicken sandwich topped with a pickle, habanero-honey barbecue sauce, and roasted garlic dressing.

Fort Lauderdale diners can also expect to find the brand's popular "Wok Out," build-your-own bowls made with kale, carrots, broccoli, mushrooms, and chopped cashews with a choice of salmon, chicken, shrimp, tuna, tofu, or steak. They can be further customized with a sesame teriyaki or a spicy Thai sauce and sticky brown rice, Shanghai lo mein noodles, or quinoa.

The restaurant, located at 500 N. Federal Highway, will encompass 4,300 square feet with an open kitchen. A large, 26-seat island bar will serve an extensive selection of craft beers, wine, and spirits. A 1,100-square-foot patio will feature custom teakwood furniture, a 15-person communal table, and seating with the brand's signature yellow umbrellas with built-in lights for al fresco dining.

Doc B's Fresh Kitchen. 500 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale; docbsfreshkitchen.com.

Nicole Danna is a food writer covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in food and drink news in South Florida, follow her @SoFloNicole or find her latest food pics on the BPB New Times Food & Drink Instagram

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