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Protein Bar opens Thursday in Ballston

Protein Bar in Ballston Protein Bar in Ballston Protein Bar founder Matt Matros Spinach and pesto bowl at Protein Bar Protein Bar in Ballston Blended drink at Protein Bar Protein Bar in Ballston Buffalo Bar-rito at Protein Bar

A new restaurant aimed at offering high protein foods is opening in Ballston tomorrow. Protein Bar (800 N. Glebe Road) will start serving its blended drinks, wraps and other entrees around lunchtime on Wednesday.

The goal is to serve foods high in protein, high in fiber and low on refined sugars. Founder Matt Matros based the menu on the diet that helped him lose weight.

“I grew up heavy. I switched to the high protein diet and ended up losing 50 pounds in a summer. It’s all of the foods we sell now,” Matros said. “The idea being that high protein foods help you feel full longer, so if you have something higher in protein you’ll not snack later on in the day. That’s what’s worked for me and it’s worked for a lot of our customers.”

Matros went to business school and then worked for Kraft Foods for a while. He became discouraged by the lack of restaurants offering foods along the lines of his high protein diet, so he decided to launch Protein Bar.

“I realized there was no place that started the kind of foods I wanted to eat, so that’s when I decided to start it all myself,” he said.

The first restaurant opened in May of 2009 in Chicago, and Matros recently has been looking for other markets to move into. The D.C. metro is the first place Protein Bar has expanded outside of the Chicago area. Matros says coming here seemed like a natural fit because the people lead similar lifestyles as those in Chicago.

“They eat healthy, they’re educated, they can appreciate what we’re doing,” Matros said. “They’re urban professionals, they’re busy, they don’t have time for lunch.”

Eventually, Matros hopes to expand into other areas in Northern Virginia, like Rosslyn.

“Arlingtonians have a coolness about them,” he said. “We definitely enjoy being here.”

Protein Bar will open tomorrow (January 30) at 11:00 a.m. and will give food away to the first 50 customers. The restaurant will open for normal business hours (7:30 a.m.-8:00 p.m.) on Thursday. Protein Bar will be closed on Sundays.


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