Organic Cafe Headed to Union Avenue Luxury Block

By Serena Dai on June 25, 2014 2:57pm 

 Eldad and Inna Mashiach are the owners of re.union cafe, 544 Union Ave.
Eldad and Inna Mashiach are the owners of re.union cafe, 544 Union Ave.
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DNAinfo/Serena Dai

WILLIAMSBURG — A stretch of luxury developments along Union Avenue will soon be home to a string of tenants including an organic cafe whose owners were inspired by the success of artisanal Brooklyn.

Husband and wife team Eldad and Inna Mashiach said their new re.union cafe, set to open at 544 Union Ave. in August, represents an opportunity to make their mark on Williamsburg, a neighborhood they fell in love with for its unique small businesses.

"The atmosphere makes you feel like you can be whatever you are," said Inna Mashiach, who moved to New York from Israel with her husband. "Manhattan is a little bit old-fashioned. In Williamsburg, you can really make unique things, which is what we're looking to do."

Other tenants of the complex include upcoming daycare center Play and Learn, while neighboring 568 Union Ave. will be home to Juicery Kitchen, according to commercial broker Nicholas Griffin with Apts and Lofts. Juicery Kitchen owner Oscar Ikeva said he will open this week and will offer cold-pressed juice, smoothies, raw food and sandwiches.

"It’s an interesting mix of tenants," Griffin said. "It's very representative of where Williamsburg is in 2014, which is half stuff for young, single professionals and half stuff for families and kids."

The Mashiachs said they were inspired by local business owners like the chocolatiers Mast Brothers, "very young people that believe in their great product," Inna Mashiach said.

Despite many small businesses being priced out of the neighborhood amid the opening of mega-chains like Urban Outfitters and Starbucks, the Mashiachs still believe that individuals can succeed with a unique product in Williamsburg — at least compared to Manhattan.

"You don't see these little spots where all they make is chocolate," Eldad Mashiach said of Manhattan. "We felt this is the place for us."

The name of the cafe reflects both its location and a hope to unite the people who live in the new units.

Booth seating and a kids menu will accomodate local families, as will a stage area with a selection of toys and books, the couple said.

The foodie couple will be cooking a menu of sandwiches, salads and breakfast items inspired by their international background. Menu items include a vodka-and-beet cured salmon sandwich and a balsamic blueberry and goat cheese sandwich, which will cost between $8 and $12.

Inna was born in Russia and immigrated to Israel at age 7, while Eldad's family immigrated to Israel from Turkey. The couple has also frequently traveled in pursuit of delicacies rather than sights.

Ultimately, they decided to settle in New York City two years ago and open a business in Williamsburg because of the inspiring culture, they said.

"We believe in just hard working, and you can make your dream come true," Inna Mashiach said. 

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