California-based healthy Mediterranean concept Luna Grill continues its Texas expansion with a new location that opened on March 2 in Mansfield, at 1571 E. Debbie Ln. — the sixth in DFW and the 42nd for the fast-casual chain.
Luna's menu features Mediterranean cuisine, with specialties that include kabobs, falafel, and hummus. There are also bowls, salads, wraps, desserts, and wine.
A cross between a fast-casual and full-service sit-down restaurant, Luna combines the best of both worlds. Meals are made to order and delivered to the table with real cutlery and tableware. No plastic forks.
Founders Sean and Maria Pourteymour opened the first Luna Grill in San Diego in 2004; Maria's family was in the restaurant business, and she wanted a place with food wholesome enough to feed it to her own children.
They incubated the concept for six years before beginning an expansion in California in 2010. Their only other market so far has been Dallas-Fort Worth, where they opened their first location in Flower Mound in 2014.
Before deciding where to open, the couple came to Dallas and drove around all the neighborhoods to get a sense of what the area was about.
"It helped give us a clear vision, when we're talking about locations, because we've been boots on the ground and surveyed and decided this is a great place for us to go," Maria says.
Women are a big part of their demographics, along with families and businesspeople. But one element that sets Luna Grill apart from other healthy-focused chains is they're not just about lunch.
"Our business is about 50-50 for lunch and dinner," Maria says. "We do quite a bit of business at night, so we look for areas with good daytime to nighttime activity."
Another differentiation for Luna is its sophisticated atmosphere.
"Our ambience lends to an inviting environment for people who don't have a ton of time or funds for an expensive dinner, but want to go out and enjoy that experience of well-crafted food in a nice setting," she says. "Our dining rooms have artwork on the wall, chandeliers, and real silverware, plates, and glassware. Our design efforts help draw that dinner crowd."
So far, their reach has been mainly north and west of Dallas, with locations in Richardson, Colleyville, Southlake, and Alliance Center.
They will open a location in Dallas in 2018 at The Hill, the center at Walnut Hill Lane and US 75, as well as a store at The Shops at Clearfork in Fort Worth. Other 2018 openings are penciled in for McKinney, Frisco, and Irving/Las Colinas.
"As the new kid in town, it takes a while for people to buy into the concept and want you to be in their center," Maria says. "We looked in Uptown Dallas, but it didn't work out. But our goal is to have a pretty good coverage across the whole area."