LEON restaurants to open first US location in DC

WASHINGTON — London-based fast food chain LEON, which calls itself the pioneer in “Naturally Fast Food,” will open its first location in the U.S. this summer in downtown D.C.

LEON, whose Mediterranean-leaning menu includes things like Falafel wraps, chicken, basil and pine nut salads, vegan burgers, crushed pea salad and yogurt Sundaes, has leased space at Washington Square at 1050 Connecticut Avenue.

Its planned opening date is Aug. 20.

LEON opened its first location in London’s Carnaby Street in 2004, and has 52 locations in the U.K., Norway and the Netherlands.

LEON, co-founded by former Procter & Gamble executive John Vincent and named after his father, says its mission is to make fast food good food, “finding goodness and flavor in olive oil, fresh herbs, good meats and a wide array of plants.”

“We chose D.C. as our entry point into the U.S. market because of its culturally creative mindset, pedestrian-friendly landscape and foodie-lifestyle,” Vincent said.

“Choosing the first American city is like trying to choose from your favorite box of chocolates. After D.C., we are looking forward to opening in other cities that have a similar culture of dynamism, positivity and possibility.”

LEON also aims for 100 percent renewable energy and says it has significantly increased the number of plant-based dishes and proactively removed all plastic straws and cutlery.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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