Sweetgreen, a chain of organic, farm-to-table salad shops founded in Washington, D.C., will open its first New York City location at the Nomad Hotel on Wednesday, July 24.
This is the 20th location for sweetgreen, opening exactly six years to the day since the brand opened its first store in Georgetown.
A second NYC location will follow in Tribeca this winter on Greenwich Street at Hubert Street. For the first time, New Yorkers will have access to sweetgreen’s healthy salads, grain bowls, frozen yogurt, and fresh-pressed juice.
In celebration of opening day, sweetgreen is inviting guests to "Pay What You Want" until 4 p.m., with all proceeds benefiting City Harvest, the world's first food rescue organization, dedicated to feeding the city's hungry men, women, and children.
Founded in 2007 by Georgetown University graduates Nicolas Jammet, Jonathan Neman, and Nathaniel Ru, sweetgreen is now known for its commitment to local farmers, the community, sustainability, and its company culture.
Sweetgreen was born from the belief that the community would benefit from a healthy, and eco-friendly dining option. The founders passionately believed it was possible to create “food that fits” customers’ values, budget, tastes, imagination, and community.
They opened their first location, a 560-square-foot space in Georgetown, in August 2007, just three months out of college. Over the next six years, the threesome went on to open 19 additional locations throughout Washington, D.C., Virginia, Maryland, Philadelphia, and Boston.
The company also founded sweetlife, an annual food and music festival that attracts a curated selection of cutting-edge artists and 20,000 attendees, as well as food from top chefs, food trucks, local purveyors, and farmers.
This year, the music lineup featured several high-profile artists including Phoenix, Passion Pit, Kendrick Lamar, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Solange, and more.
“We are thrilled to bring our take on delicious, healthy, and locally sourced salads and more to NYC, first at the chic NoMad Hotel, and then in one of the city’s most loved neighborhoods, Tribeca, this winter,” Jammet says. “NoMad is one of the city’s most exciting communities, home to some of the best food and shopping, and we can’t wait to plant our roots here. While sweetgreen was born in D.C., I was born and raised in New York, so this definitely feels like a homecoming.”
Sweetgreen’s menu includes eight signatures salads, such as Guacamole Greens, Spicy Sabzi, and Earth Bowl, and guests can also design their own with ingredients of their choosing.
For those looking for a heartier meal, grain bowls, featuring quinoa and faro, are an option. Chilled soups are offered during the summer, with warm soups served in winter.
Guests can also indulge in tart frozen yogurt (sweetflow), accompanied by a selection of seasonal, fresh toppings, as well as organic, cold-pressed juice (sweetpress).
Ever since opening, sweetgreen has been dedicated to working with and sourcing its ingredients from local farms. Each store features a chalkboard “Local List” showcasing the nearby farms and ingredients featured on the menu.
The NYC menu will include zucchini, yellow squash, and arugula from Migliorelli Farm; peaches for the August salad of the month and apricots for a seasonal yogurt topping from Red Jacket Orchards; corn, cucumbers, and radishes from J. Glebocki Farm; goat cheese from Coach Farm; and Feta cheese from Four Brothers Creamery.
The NYC location will showcase a new design by Leong Leong, the NY-based studio from brothers Chris and Dominic Leong, whose clients include 3.1 Phillip Lim, Opening Ceremony, LVMH, Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum, and MoMA PS1. With most of their clients in fashion and design, the opening of sweetgreen marks the first restaurant the firm has designed.
Like its predecessors, the new store was designed with green practices in mind to minimize the environmental footprint. With compostable packaging, design details, and furniture made from reclaimed materials, LED light fixtures, and wind energy offset credits to power the stores, sweetgreen continually aims to raise the bar in sustainable business practices.
The open and modern space pays homage to the look and feel of the historic Madison Square North district. The centerpiece is the bar featuring seasonal ingredients, such as arugula, kale, tomatoes, zucchini, yellow squash, corn, radishes, pumpkin seeds, and goat cheese. Tables, chairs, benches, and bleachers made from recycled materials line the space.
Design details include brick walls dating to the 1850s, neon signs that illuminate to display the current season (fall, winter, spring, and summer), and custom chairs handmade by Uhuru, a Brooklyn-based furniture design company dedicated to sustainability.
Entrance door handles are constructed of antique gardening tools, a subtle reminder of the restaurant's farm-to-table ethos.
Resourceful materials are used in unexpected ways: Recycled blue jeans are embedded behind each of the wood ceiling panels for soundproofing; tabletops and counters are constructed of reclaimed mixed oak and hickory salvaged from old railroads; and benches and bleachers are made with reclaimed oak from nearby barns.
The menuboard is made of cedar that has been burned to a dark charcoal finish, a traditional method of preserving wood. FSC-Certified Oriented Strand Board (a sustainable building material made from wood chips) lines the front counter and bathrooms.
Since music has always been a key element of the sweetgreen experience, the store can also transform into a performance space. Bleacher seating sourced from a gym in upstate New York folds back to reveal a stage for live music, farmer education visits, demos, and more.