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More Health Food and Yoga Coming to Crown Heights in May

 Three new businesses are opening second locations this month in Crown Heights and Prospect Heights.
New Businesses Opening in Prospect Heights and Crown Heights
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CROWN HEIGHTS — They’re seeing double.

An eatery, yoga studio and health food restaurant in Prospect Heights and Crown Heights are opening second locations this month.

We spoke with the business owners about what they have planned.

R&D Foods | 602 Vanderbilt Ave., Prospect Heights

The owners of 606 R&D, a 31-seat American restaurant on Vanderbilt Avenue near St. Marks Avenue, plan to expand their business two doors down in a shop they’re calling R&D Foods. The new location will serve prepared foods including entrees, sandwiches, coffee and baked goods. Ilene Rosen and business partners Sara Dima and Amy Weeks hope to bring the “spirit” of the food served at 606 into the new location.

“There will be a seasonal selection of different kinds of vegetable salads, grains, beans,” said Rosen. “And there’ll be various things that would be considered more dinner entree-ish to take home,” including brined, rotisserie-roasted chicken and lamb meatballs with spiced tomato sauce, she said.

According to Rosen, the menu at “Foods” will be different from the restaurant’s menu, but regulars can look forward to a few familiar dishes. R&D’s popular macaroni and cheese, chicken enchilada casserole and homemade donuts will be available at the new shop.

Opening a second location for prepared foods was “always part of the plan,” Rosen said, and became a reality when a retail space nearby became available more than a year ago.

“It was small and fabulous, and this was the neighborhood we wanted,” she said.

R&D Foods is set to open Monday morning at 8 a.m. It will be open seven days a week, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., except Sunday, when it will close at 6 p.m.

Meme’s Healthy Nibbles | 707 Nostrand Ave., Crown Heights

Mery Gueye runs the Flatbush Avenue wrap, salad and smoothie shop Healthy Nibbles and she's set to open a second location in Crown Heights by the end of the month.

Gueye originally ran a frame shop on Flatbush Avenue at Prospect Place. She turned half of it into a restaurant in 2001.

“After 9/11, the economy was really bad, so I didn’t know what else to do,” she said. “There were not a lot of healthy eateries around there. All we had were bodegas and Chinese restaurants.”

Gueye made room in her shop for counter service for veggie-heavy foods with empowering names like the I Have Peace vegan curry chicken wrap and the I Am Amazing veggie burger.

“I’ve never looked back on that idea,” she said. “It was a great move for me.”

Now, Gueye said she will bring healthier foods to neighborhoods where they’re needed. She found the perfect spot at 707 Nostrand Ave., where she's set to open Meme’s Healthy Nibbles, a name borrowed from her childhood nickname.

“Nostrand is underserved in terms of healthy, good, nutritious food,” she said. “You have a lot of West Indian restaurants and stuff like that, but what I serve — I know the neighborhood, the community will benefit from it.”

The new restaurant will serve many of the same things as the original Nibbles, with one difference: breakfast foods. The new spot has a separate kitchen that will allow Gueye to make pancakes, waffles and in-house baked goods.

She plans to open Meme's Healthy Nibbles by May 20.

Shambhala East | 1000 Dean St., Crown Heights

After nearly 15 years in Prospect Heights, Shambhala Yoga and Dance Studio is making the leap to a new neighborhood.

The group had its first classes Sunday at a new studio at the recently opened 1000 Dean St. complex, called Shambhala East.

The new location will focus more on dance — offering West African, Afro-Brazilian, samba, belly dance and wu tao dance meditation lessons — but will offer about 30 yoga classes a week, too, including pre- and post-natal yoga and donation classes at 6:30 p.m. Thursday and 9 a.m. Saturday, studio director Sarah Schumann said.

The move to the new 1,000-square-foot space will be a success if it gives more space to Shambhala’s community, she said.

“Building a community where people feel free to come and take sanctuary and find little parts of themselves in each other that they haven’t met yet, that’s successful,” she said.

Shambhala East will also offer “lunch-hour express” classes from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. on weekdays, which Schumann envisions being convenient for the many new office workers renting space in 1000 Dean. They’ll also hold a “happy hour” class from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., which Schumann said is available “if people wanted to balance their life with yoga and beer,” alluding to the expected visitors to Berg’n, the soon-to-be-open beer hall adjacent to 1000 Dean.

Shambhala classes cost between $5 and $17. For a full slate of classes at both the Prospect Heights and Crown Heights locations, visit the studio’s website.