After the Upper West Side’s uber popular Cafe Blossom closed in May, New Yorkers may have assumed the city’s biggest vegan dining empire was scaling back. But three months later, the truth is quite the opposite.
The restaurant group just announced Cafe Blossom will be getting a new, more exciting life when it re-opens in a new home this September, and the team is also expanding its grab-and-go Blossom Du Jour eateries at a fast clip.
“This is such a huge step for us, it’s going to take Blossom to another level,” says co-founder Pamela Blackwell, who owns the group with Ronen Seir. “We’re really excited to offer more menu options and things people haven’t seen on vegan menus before—and with our liquor license, people can have a different experience.” (Vegan tipples!)
The new Cafe Blossom, two blocks away, will be a more upscale dining experience, with a 13-seat full-bar, Blackwell explains, an offering that doesn’t exist at any of the group’s other restaurants. (Blossom on Carmine has a bar menu, but no bar seating.) “We see how many people want to go to a vegan establishment and have a drink with vegan food. There’s a big demand for that,” she says. Expect new bar tapas, and cult-fave bestsellers like the Soy Bacon Cheeseburger.
And while uptown residents will be sipping martinis with their tempeh on date nights, Blackwell and Seir are even more focused on expanding the number of fast-service Blossom Du Jour shops. “The goal with Blossom is to be able to have vegan food be more accessible, and we can do that easier with this kind of grab-and-go quick-service concept, along the lines of Chipotle or Pret A Manger,” Blackwell says.
They’ll be opening a fourth Blossom Du Jour on 81st Street and Amsterdam Avenue soon, and two others are currently in the works. And if demand for vegan food continues, Blackwell says they’re open to creating even more. “Every year it seems that more and more people want to eat healthier,” she says. “Blossom was very busy when it first opened, but it’s a different kind of demand today.” —Lisa Elaine Held