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Troubled Vegan Hot Spot Pure Food and Wine Reopens After Three Month Shutter [Update]

It's unclear if workers who walked out earlier this year have actually been paid.


Raw food destination Pure Food and Wine and its sister juicery One Lucky Duck on 17th Street are back open now, three months after staff walked out en masse over unpaid wages.

On Saturday, the team tweeted:

The restaurant's big backyard is back, but it looks like for lunch only.

One Lucky Duck is also still in soft reopen mode:

No word yet on when the two places will be back at full steam.

In March, owner Sarma Melngailis promised to reopen the restaurant on her blog. She nearly sold the businesses to a foreign investor, but that deal fell through. Instead, she started selling shares of the business to those "who love what we do, and truly care." She also launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise $50,000, but it hasn't even hit the $15,000 mark, so it's unclear where the funds to reopen came from. Meanwhile, Melngailis has remained vague about whether her old staff has been paid, and there are postings on Craigslist for just about every front of the house position. Eater has reached out to Melngailis for more on the future of the restaurant.

Update: Melngailis responds: "Things have all been settled and resolved with the staff. The majority of the staff working now are all previous employees from before. It's a really fresh new energy now that things have been resolved and restructured. The restructuring was accomplished via ongoing sales of shares in the overall company."

Pure Food and Wine

54 Irving Pl, New York, NY 10003 (212) 477-1010 Visit Website