If you’re counting the days until you can get your inside-out quinoa burger fix, we’ve got bad news: You’re going to have to wait a little longer (at least if you live in New York City). True Food Kitchen, the healthy dining pioneer that was planning to open its first NYC spot in a huge two-story space in Battery Park City, is saying goodbye to all that—for now.
“It’s a shame because we were so excited about the location,” says Sam Fox, whose Arizona-based restaurant empire includes True Food Kitchen as well as healthy eating hotspot (and bowl mecca) Flower Child, which recently opened in Santa Monica, CA.
“We had some issues with the kitchen venting, and to resolve it would have driven our costs up 25 percent. Financially, we couldn’t make it happen,” Fox tells Well+Good of the location, which was slated for a fall opening.
Fox developed True Food Kitchen with integrative medical honcho Andrew Weil, MD—and its seasonal menu is based on Dr. Weil’s anti-inflammatory diet, combining high quality organic produce to counteract inflammation in the body. In addition to chia, quinoa, and kale galore, its menu includes items like shiitake mushroom and organic tofu lettuce cups, street tacos (with or without grass-fed steak or sustainable fish), and the popular (gut-friendly!) pizza—made with a spelt and flax dough crust.
Right now there are 12 locations across the country, from California to Florida (including an Atlanta spot that got a Drake shout-out this week), with new restaurants opening in Pasadena, CA; Walnut Creek, CA; Palo Alto, CA; and Chicago by the end of the year.
Will there ever be a New York spot? “Yes, we will definitely try again. We’re looking,” Fox promises.