[caption id="attachment_345451" align="alignright" width="420"] Courtesy of Beatrix Foods[/caption]
A year and a half after launching vegan pop-up restaurant and catering service Beatrix Foods, owner Melanie Manuel prepares to open a permanent space to sell her plant-based, internationally-inspired comfort food.
Celesta will open by late spring at 1978 N. Farwell Ave., the east side space that formerly housed Jow Nai Fouquet, a thai restaurant that closed last year. Before that it was occupied by Abu's Jerusalem of the Gold.
The new restaurant will serve elevated vegan food, featuring both familiar dishes, and seasonal specials and originals. It will also offer beverages including a house-made chai, and a full selection of both alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails.
"I wanted to create a different experience for people that they couldn't get elsewhere and would complement the vegan food the city already offers," Manuel said.
The restaurant, which will be open Tuesday through Sunday, will offer seating for about 24 people, with six seats at the bar and 18 seats at tables. Manuel said she hopes to offer outdoor seating, weather permitting, with four to six tables on the restaurant's sidewalk.
"It will be a space that is really conducive to the food we're offering," Manuel said. "We want to be welcoming to lots of different people, not just people who only eat plant-based foods, but to omnivores as well."
Manuel said she will use Celesta to continue offering catering services for events such as weddings, and private or corporate parties. She said she has also considered using the new space to eventually host private events or cooking classes.