Clover Food Lab to open Assembly Row location

The new spot will feature a specialty grocery.

The Chickpea Fritter is Clover's most popular sandwich. Photo courtesy of Clover Food Lab

The cult favorite vegetarian food chain Clover Food Lab will be opening a new location in Assembly Row this October, while also introducing customers to a unique way of shopping.

This will mark the fast casual restaurant’s 15th location — first in Somerville — and also house Clover’s first ever specialty grocery store. Visitors will be able to purchase goods sourced from across the Northeast as well as Clover foods that have previously been made available for takeout only, such as hummus, soups, coffee beans, and meal boxes. CEO and founder Ayr Muir said that Clover has been looking to expand to more suburban sites, and while Assembly Row is not quite a suburb, it shares qualities with that type of location.


“There’s a lot happening there,” Muir said. “There’s a lot of change, and we’re excited to be a part of it. There are a lot of wonderful businesses that are opening offices there. That’s exciting for us, to make our food accessible to those folks. There’s actually a large number of residents there too.”

The menu at the Assembly Row location will be the same as its other spots, but Muir highlighted several standout items. One is the new potato pesto sandwich, which comes with sunflower seed pesto, smoked local cheddar, and a soft-cooked egg. The chickpea fritter is a popular pick among guests, prepared with cucumbers, tomatoes, cabbage, and carrots.

Clover has partnered with local entrepreneurs Bobby Maclean and Alexandra Whisnant of Bow Market’s food store Picnic & Pantry to create the specialty grocery at Assembly Row, which will take up 400 square feet of space. The retail space will sell pantry items like hot sauce, salad dressing, and maple syrup, as well as fresh produce from local farms. They will also be bringing in specialty drinks, dessert items, and bread. Some goods from Picnic & Pantry will also be available to purchase.

The restaurant chain was started as a food truck in 2008, with the mission of addressing global warming by building a better food future. Muir said that he is trying to introduce restaurant goers to plant-based dining.


“The average American eats 3.4 servings of meat a day,” Muir said. “The carbon footprint of that is gigantic.” He added, “Clover’s mission is to make vegetables that are so delicious that people are craving them and dreaming about them, people who like to eat meat, who haven’t given up meat. … That’s the main impact we have as a company, getting meat lovers to eat more meals with no meat in them.”

Clover Food Lab, 330 Foley St., Somerville