Flower Child from Sam Fox Restaurants opens in Denver’s Cherry Creek

Flower Child or Whole Foods? The sign outside the new Cherry Creek location of the Arizona-based restaurant chain. (Lucy Beaugard, Provided by Flower Child)

Gone are the days of the restaurant menu that’s pages long, with something for everyone and three dozen flavors of cheesecake at the end.

This week, Flower Child, a popular Arizona-based chain now owned by Cheesecake Factory, opened by the Cherry Creek mall. It signals a new generation of national restaurant brands, where the food is healthy and the feeling is that of a local spot.

In fact, Flower Child looks nothing like its parent company at all.

A sunny corner booth at Flower Child in Cherry Creek. (Lucy Beaugard, Provided by Flower Child)

Driving by, you might confuse it with another Whole Foods — the logo is eerily similar. But once inside the green and white, 3,500-square-foot space, you’ll spot all the trappings of a trendy modern eatery.

There’s exposed ductwork along the ceiling, concrete floors, bright tiling across the walls and plant-life leading toward the counter where you order off a large board.

“Healthy food for a happy world” is the restaurant’s tagline. Cheesecake, who?

Menu items start with avocado hummus ($7) and Brussels sprouts and squash salad ($8.50), and continue with ancient grain bowls ($9.95) and various proteins like chicken, salmon and tofu ($11.95-$15.50) served with veggie sides.

There are only a few desserts to choose from, but the drinks list is rather long and includes kombucha, seasonal sangria, local beer and wine on tap, another next-gen sign.

Back in July, The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated bought Fox Restaurants for $308 million.

Now that group’s portfolio includes 25 locations of Flower Child, 23 North Italia restaurants and eight more Fox brands, with founder Sam Fox still running his concepts from Phoenix, according to The Arizona Republic.

By 2021, Fox Restaurants and Cheesecake Factory are also slated to open Blanco Tacos + Tequila and Culinary Dropout at Denver’s 9th and Colorado development.

Flower Child Cherry Creek, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. daily, 3110 E. First Ave. (next door to The Container Store), 303-388-1878, imaflowerchild.com. Flower Child Boulder, 2580 Arapahoe Ave., 303-386-8090 

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