Organic Avenue Closing 3 Manhattan Cafes for Renovations

By Heather Holland on July 11, 2014 8:37am 

NEW YORK CITY — Organic Avenue is closing three of its 11 Manhattan eateries to renovate them and make space for hot food offerings like wraps, soups and oatmeal — plus walls made of plants.

The restaurant chain — which focuses on organic, plant-based foods and juices — is shutting its outposts in Midtown East, Chelsea and the Upper West Side to upgrade the interiors to match the company's flagship store in Bryant Park, said Jessie Gould, vice president of brand and marketing at Organic Avenue.

“As of now, you couldn’t identify the three stores as the same store,” Gould said. “They each had different feel and textures, and nothing to unify them aside from some splashing of orange color and our logo.

“They had all the legacy offerings, which are very juice-focused, but there was no place for on-premise food preparation. So now we’re going through the process of bringing them in line with our current stores.”

The store at 649 Lexington Ave., at 54th Street, was the first to close on July 7 and won’t reopen for three weeks. The outpost in Chelsea at 216 Eighth Ave., at 21st Street, will close for six weeks beginning July 15, and the store on the Upper West Side at 461 Amsterdam Ave., near 82nd, will close for three weeks beginning in the first week of August.

The layout of the stores originally consisted of fridges and shelves filled with organic food and juice products, Gould said.

After the renovations, they’ll each sport an ordering station, extra seating and the brand’s signature decorative feature: a wall made of live plants, she said.

“It’s a plant-based restaurant, so we wanted to have a representation of plants in the store,” said Gould. “It’s made up of different types of greens that are just for looking, but they're functional too.

“They trap dust, they keep the stores a bit cooler during the summer, and also absorb sound.”

When the stores reopen, they’ll be equipped to prepare hot food items like the hot curried vegetable wrap and the barbecue mushroom wrap. Customers will also be able to order coffee, smoothies, oatmeal and soups for the first time at these locations, Gould said.

Organic Avenue opened locations in Bryant Park, Flatiron and NoHo this year, and plans to open several more in the city before the end of the year, a spokeswoman for the company said.

“Since we introduced our new hot and cold menus in the first half of 2014, the customer response has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Martin Bates, CEO of Organic Avenue, in a written statement. “Retrofitting the Chelsea, Midtown East and Upper West Side stores allows us to bring even more of our tasty new foods to New Yorkers where they live, work and play.” 

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