Avant Garden, an upscale vegan restaurant located in New York City’s East Village, will be opening a second location in the hip Brooklyn neighborhood of Williamsburg.

Reported by Eater NY, the new location will feature a menu helmed by chef Tony Mongeluzzi, who has been acting as executive chef at the flagship Manhattan location for the past year-and-a-half. The menu will take the same approach to food as the original location, offering small plates and natural wines,  but will offer mostly dishes exclusive to Williamsburg. Alla Lapushchik, owner and beverage director of a popular local bar, will create specialty bottled cocktails.

Avant Garden was founded by New York City-based restaurateur Ravi DeRossi in 2015 and has attracted a strong customer following. According to Forbes, 90 percent of the customers at Avant Garden are not vegan, making it a prime candidate for expansion. Vegan food was named a top trend of 2018 by industry experts. According to recent data from market research firm Mintel, 52 percent of Americans choose plant-based protein because it tastes better, showing that previously held conceptions about vegan food being bland and boring are on their way out.

A vegan for the majority of his life and strong advocate for animals and the planet, DeRossi is the brain behind 15 popular cocktail bars and restaurants throughout the city. Two years ago, following the opening of the original Avant Garden, he told Eater NY that he planned to make all of them vegan. “If we’re going to do something to help this planet, it needs to start. It needs to be me not just preaching, but me just doing it. I’m in the position to do it,” DeRossi said.

In 2016, DeRossi launched BEAST (Benefit to End Animal Suffering), a non-profit charity that raises money and awareness for animal rights causes that have applied for a grant by hosting upscale parties. His efforts to reduce the animal suffering later attracted the attention of vegan musician and restaurateur Moby, who invested in the opening of DeRossi’s newest cocktail bar, Ladybird.

DeRossi does not plan to stop at just opening a second location of Avant Garden. In a recent interview, the restaurateur revealed his plans to open a total of 12 new establishments over the next two years, including two 24-hour diners.


Image source: Avant Garden

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