Brother and sister duo Brandon Barksdale and Sharisse Barksdale-Lane were born and raised in Prince George’s County. They were motivated to open Greenbar after becoming frustrated with the county’s lack of healthy food options. (Courtesy Photo)

By Megan Sayles, AFRO Business Writer
Report for America Corps Member

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Brandon Barksdale and Sharisse Barksdale-Lane, developed the concept for Greenbar, a fast-casual restaurant committed to providing healthy, fresh and whole foods. The brother and sister duo decided to dive into entrepreneurship with the eatery after they became frustrated with the lack of healthy food options in Prince George’s County, the area in which they were raised. 

“During the pandemic, we were stuck at home and just trying to order delivery and takeout,” said Barksdale-Lane. “When your only option is Chinese or fried wings, it’s a really big issue, and we need to do something about it.” 

Greenbar, which had its grand opening on Nov. 16 in Fort Washington, Maryland, serves nutritious build-your-own and curated bowls, called “passion bowls,” that contain ingredients, including quinoa, kale, spinach, salmon, shrimp and marinated chicken. All of the dressings are made in house from scratch. Soon, Greenbar will add kids meals to its menu to advance its goal of fighting systemic issues, like childhood obesity. 

All of the proteins are never frozen and the produce is sourced from local farms. Greenbar works closely with Miller Farms, which the siblings frequented when they were younger. The pair also tries to update the menu to make use of the fruits and vegetables that are in season. 

“It was super important for us to bring fresh produce to the markets that are kind of neglected underrepresented from a diversity of food outlook,” said Barksdale. 

Although this is their first restaurant, food was always a big part of Barksdale and Barksdale-Lane’s upbringing. Through their travels, they have tasted many different cuisines, and they have both previously worked in the hospitality industry. 

As siblings, the entrepreneurs each employ different strengths while running Greenbar. Barksdale-Lane is detail-oriented and mission-driven while Barksdale is passionate about the customer experience. When they have disagreements, their parents serve as mediators. 

Prince George’s County is committed to fighting food deserts, which plague residents with an increased risk of obesity, diabetes and other weight-related conditions. With Greenbar, Barksdale and Barksdale-Lane intend to accelerate this mission. 

“Access to fresher foods allows people to live a healthier lifestyle,” said Barksdale.

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