The spot — in a cheery-hued historic building right in the heart of the Grove — has been in the works for more than a year. The opening process took longer than usual because the space required a full buildout, says Choices president Lori Zito. "It is much bigger than what people are used to at a typical Choices café," she says. "It'll have our regular menu and all the stuff people expect from Choices. It also has a surprise seating area — a really fun place for people to have a community space to hang out and lounge."
The Grove locale will also have a small vegan marketplace. Several months down the line, the team plans to open a sandwich bar with vegan cheese and meat, a vegan sushi bar, and an out-in-the-open bakery area. Until then, fans will find the usual array of cold-pressed juices, pancakes, vibrant bowls, burritos, and other herbivorous entrees — all framed by a striking Ganesh mural. "It'll be a typical Choices experience with some more options including grab and go stuff, retail and a lot more," says Zito.
Saturday's opening is a soft one, she adds. The café will host a grand opening in a month or so in conjunction with its upstairs neighbor — Om Movement yoga studio, but the plant-based restaurant chose to take advantage of the crowds at this weekend's Coconut Grove Arts Festival.
Choices has seen a lot of its own growth over the past few years, opening new locations on Northeast 79th Street in 2013, near the airport in 2014, and in Coral Gables in 2015, as well as rolling out a progressive no-tipping pay system and, most recently, an under $10 menu.
The idea for a Grove outpost came from a long-term customer who owns the building where the new eatery is located. Given the recent growth in the Grove — but the general lack of vegan options — the neighborhood is a sensible spot for a healthy, socially conscious restaurant to set up shop.
The team also has plans to open its first Broward County location later this year. "We signed a lease in Weston. It's inside the Bonaventure Resort & Spa. The resort has the Olea Spa, which has a beautiful café space and pool connected to it."