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Sweet Tomatoes Could Finally Reopen This Month—Here's What To Know

Four years after shuttering all of its restaurants, the brand is set to make a comeback.

To say that Sweet Tomatoes fans were devastated when the popular buffet chain closed all of its restaurants in 2020 would be a huge understatement. But, in great news for customers who are still grieving the shuttered concept, Sweet Tomatoes is finally set to make a comeback within the next few weeks.

That's right! A Sweet Tomatoes location in Tucson, Ariz., is scheduled to reopen in late February or early March, Restaurant Business Magazine reported. The news that Sweet Tomatoes was coming back first emerged in March 2023, but this is the first update on the reopening timeline since then. The grand return will take place nearly four years after the COVID-19 pandemic dealt a major blow to the chain's business, ultimately forcing the company to file for bankruptcy and shutter all of its 97 restaurants.

 Shuttered Restaurant Chain Sweet Tomatoes Is Beginning to Open Locations Again

Sweet Tomatoes COO Mike Malone told Restaurant Business Magazine that none of the chain's previous leadership is affiliated with the reopening plans in any way. Instead, former Sweet Tomatoes customers who are "raving fans" of the brand are responsible for the comeback, Malone said. He would not disclose the identities of the new owners.

Also known as Souplantation in California, Sweet Tomatoes was known for its fresh salad bar and buffet selection of soups, pizza, and bread. The Tucson location that's set to reopen—which is located at 6202 East Broadway Blvd.—initially opened its doors in 1996. Malone said that it's still a "very good unit" located in a great market, adding, "We're thrilled to return."

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Sweet Tomatoes salad bar
Sweet Tomatoes/Souplantation / Facebook

The inside of the restaurant is being revamped with new colors and a new look. However, longtime Sweet Tomatoes fans will be happy to see that many of the old menu items and popular recipes will be featured at the Tucson location once it's back in business.

That includes the Joan's Broccoli Madness salad, chicken noodle soup, Caesar salad, soft serve, and the house's signature strawberry lemonade. The restaurant's centerpiece—the salad bar—will also offer the same fresh-cut ingredients that past fans already know and love, according to Malone.

"We'll bring all the favorites back. We want to open with what people are used to," he added.

The reopening restaurant will still operate with the all-you-can-eat format at one set price. The price has yet to be determined, but Malone said that the operators want to provide "great value" for customers.

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While just the one Sweet Tomatoes location is opening for now, Malone said that the company is thinking about expanding to additional markets in the future. The brand may also eventually evolve to incorporate delivery services, a move that was considered before the pandemic but never came to fruition, Restaurant Business Magazine reported.

Sweet Tomatoes isn't the only popular shuttered brand that's making a comeback this year. Steak and Ale, a retro steakhouse chain that went bankrupt and closed all locations in 2008, plans to open a new restaurant in Minnesota this April. The franchisee opening the Minnesota Steak and Ale also scored a 15-location deal in the Midwest and owns the exclusive rights to expand the concept in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and South Dakota.

Zoe Strozewski
Zoe Strozewski is a News Writer for Eat This, Not That! A Chicago native who now lives in New Jersey, she graduated from Kean University in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Read more about Zoe