(Photo by John Lendman for RedEye)
A cryptic new business is preparing to open on Broadway and Aldine Avenue that for months merely hinted at its nameless shop with large photos of healthy foods and people working out. The only clue was a scannable QR code that led to an even more mysterious Facebook group where hints were dropped sporadically as to what the shop will be.
Curious locals would see one sentence posts on the Facebook page simply called “We’re opening on Broadway” about the store having an Earth Day connection, and reminding followers that May was National Physical Fitness and Sports Month.
Greg O’Neill, owner of Pastoral Artisan Cheese on Broadway and Oakdale Avenue, didn’t waste any time welcoming the shop to the neighborhood without knowing its full concept.
“I admire those who build buzz and anticipation and also folks who have done their homework,” O’Neill said. “I like neighboring merchants who have business savvy, which all initial signs seem to indicate that they possess.”
In recent weeks, photos have also gone up offering an insight into current stages of construction with vague descriptions of the shop: “We’re here to help fuel the bodies, minds, spirits and mouths of Chicago.” So far about 291 people have liked the page that just Wednesday uploaded photos of a bar like table being constructed inside.
However, the secret may be out. Are you ready? The official website and business name has launched at ful2live.com. That’s FüL (pronounced like “fuel”), and its owners posted that it will be a nutritional restaurant with smoothies “with a focus on mind, body and spirit.” Other details, including who’s behind it and when it will open, are still secret.
Maureen Martino, executive director of Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce, says she’s excited for the shop to open because it’s going to add to Broadway’s healthy food options near Belmont Avenue.
“From what I understand, it’s going to be a diet and nutrition consultation shop for better health,” she said. “They’re going to sell nutritional products, vitamins and serve healthy shakes.”