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Protein Bar Opens Today Next To Union Station

Whatever lunch plans you have, reconsider them. Today at 11 a.m., Protein Bar officially opens its second Colorado location next to Union Station and the first 100 customers will receive gift cards valued at $100 each.

"There is always a reason to come to Protein Bar," Matt Matros, founder of the Chicago-based fast casual chain says. "We have breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner-- and all of them are not only healthy and filled with protein, but also very affordable," he added.

The journey Matros took to creating this concept is a personal one. Always a heavy-set kid, the California-born Matros decided at age 22 that it was time to shed some pounds. He embarked on a self-created high-protein diet and when it was all said and done, he was a whole 50 pounds lighter.

In May of 2009, he opened the first location of Protein Bar, a name that references a sophisticated hotel-like atmosphere, across Sears Tower in Chicago. There are now 12 outposts in the Chicago area and four more in D.C. Earlier this year, he opened the first Colorado location in Boulder at 1855 29th Street. Today, Denver gets its turn.

What can you get at Protein Bar? There are breakfast bowls (sweet and savory), Bar-Ritos (a healthy riff on a burrito), and a variety of signature drinks. Protein Bar-Ritos, two varieties of chili, as well as the signature salads and quinoa bowls make for great lunch and dinner choices. Bonus: four combinations of raw juices come in 16 ounce servings and are priced at $6.49/$6.99. The full menu is available here. Cool feature that makes your power lunch easier: online ordering.

Protein Bar plans to open 12 to 15 locations in the Denver-Boulder area. The next one will be at 1390 S Colorado Boulevard later this summer.

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