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'Lettuce on aisle 9, right by the condoms'

The formidable Duane Reade drugstore chain is stepping up its challenge to restaurants by including a made-to-order salad station in its latest store.

The Upmarket Chop Salad Bar is similar to Chop’t, SweetGreen, Fresh, and the other concepts where convenience-driven customers move down a line, specifying what ingredients to spoon into a bowl of salad that’s finally tossed or chopped and packaged for takeout.

The prototype is a prominent feature of the chain’s newest store, not far from Wall Street (and Monkeydish’s New York offices). The area abounds in tossed-to-order salad places that typically also feature grab-and-go sandwiches.

Duane Reade has already outfitted redesigned stores with grab-and-go and coffee stations. It has also experimented with sushi bars and juice stands.

The new salad bar carries the name Upmarket, a designation that Duane Reade is using on its other ready-to-eat food components.

It’s hardly the only drugstore chain to charge into restaurants’ turf.  Walgreen has opened a store in Chicago that features a number of fresh food and prep areas. CVS has also added sandwiches at some stores.

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