The jedi returned to destroy the Galactic Empire, the king regained his throne to defeat Sauron, and Batman came back just in time to crush Danny DeVito and Michelle Pfieffer. Glorious stories, every single one of ‘em. And now comes another triumphant return, right here in the Upper West Side: the neighborhood’s beloved Cafe Blossom will open its doors once again. (Huzzah! Here, here!)
The vegan cafe first opened in 2007 at 466 Columbus Avenue as an offshoot of the original Blossom restaurant in Chelsea. The vegan offerings had already gained a following there since 2005, so it was time to spread the eats uptown. “We felt opening on the Upper West Side would be a great idea since there were no vegan options uptown,” says co-owner Pamela Elizabeth Blackwell. Seven years after expanding into Cafe Blossom, Pamela and her partner Ronen Seri have also opened Blossom on Carmine, dedicated to “delicious, varied small plates meant to be shared and enjoyed with wine and cocktails” in the West Village, and V-Note, “a chic neighborhood bistro” in the Upper East Side.
Each has its crowd of regulars, but the stronghold at Cafe Blossom was in for some bad news. The spot at 466 Columbus was forced to close on May 12 “due to building management issues beyond [the cafe’s] control,” as reported on Blossom’s Facebook page. (Whispers throughout the community would later reveal that the management issues were indeed a rent increase that more than doubled the amount they were paying for the storefront.) Now, thanks to securing a new space just down the street at 507 Columbus Avenue, they’ll serve their tasty vegan fare in the nabe once again — and they’re getting a liquor license and an event space taboot. “We will have a solid cocktail menu along with our full bar,” Pamela says (as we begin to have visions of spritely seasonal cocktails next to our vegan foodstuffs).
While Pamela and Ronen put finishing touches on the new space, the grand re-opening is set for early September. “Our new space is very different from the old location, and we're excited for people to experience the chic, vibrant vibe along with the full bar and new menu offerings,” Pamela says. “We're also very excited about our private dining room that's perfect for special events and parties.”
As for the food, Ronen writes on the cafe’s website that their “vision for Blossom was to create a place with outstanding food, not just for vegans, but for everyone to enjoy.” For the uninitiated, it would seem difficult to create a meal, let alone a whole menu, to please even the most carnivorous New Yorkers. But the lineup at Blossom came out of experience rather than experimentation. “We really didn't find creating a vegan menu challenging since we are both vegans and knew what we wanted to see on the menu,” Pamela says. The result: a solid list of eats that people around the city have grown to love. Already on the agenda for 507 Columbus Avenue: vegan fettuccine in a cashew cream sauce. Oh, yes, they’re certainly back on track.
Hungry for more, we asked Pamela what her first choice would be at the dinner table. “Don't think I can answer this one,” she jokes. “I have too many favorites!” Us, on the otherhand? Oh yeah, we’re already lusting for a soy bacon cheeseburger. Even if you aren’t vegetarian, it’s hard not to appreciate something healthy made sinfully delicious. After all, Anakin may have looked like Darth Vader, but he was totally in there somewhere.
Follow Cafe Blossom here to keep up with the latest news and the official date for the location’s re-opening.