Focus of "Under 701 Café" will be healthy foods and low calorie lunches

A corner eatery in downtown Newton is about to reopen, the creation of a familiar face in the business community but new to the restaurant business. With new ownership comes a new concept, called "Under 701 Café."

Mike Lewis is a familiar face in the world of fitness and business in Newton, owner of Mike Lewis Fitness since 2010. His business at the Chisholm Trail Center is more than a gym — his clients get coaching in the area of diet as well. 

"I am a certified nutritionist," Lewis said. "With my clients, I actually take them to the grocery store and we walk through the grocery store and show them what they can, and cannot, eat. Some of them, I actually make their meals."

His new venture, the Under 701 Café, is an extension of that effort.

"You can work out all day long, but if you are not eating healthy, you are defeating the purpose. The two go hand in hand," Lewis said. "... The concept is that every meal will be under 701 calories. Getting people to eat healthier is my big thing. I have been wanting to do that forever."

The 701 Café operated by Chris Young closed Oct. 31. The 701 Café had built a reputation of serving sandwiches with a unique flair, and Lewis said the cafe had built a strong brand.

He wants to build upon that brand and offer something unique as he does — a restaurant dedicated to helping customers eat a healthy lunch.

"In talking with Chris, I wanted to do his spin, but do it healthy," Lewis said.

It's not a new concept, even for that location. At one time the building at 701 N. Main housed "Eat Your Vegetables." Also, former tenants were "The Spartan" and "Karen's Kitchen."

Lewis will continue to operate his gym at the mall, and a second studio in Wichita. He plans to hire a chef to help run the restaurant that will target the lunch hour. Lewis said the cafe will likely close around 3:30 p.m.

The menu will include panini's, salads and smoothies.

"We are going healthy," Lewis said. "I want to give Newton a healthy place to eat."

Lewis does not have a firm date for opening the new eatery. The restaurant is being renovated inside, while a menu is created and licensing through the Health Department is secured.