The rotting corpse of Organic Avenue is being pumped full of life-restoring elixirs by a coven of benevolent kale sorcerers. Soon, it will once again dispense tiny plastic bottles of juice to health food enthusiasts, and dilapidated office workers who might actually need to eat some vegetables to stave off gout. Without any warning, the troubled juice chain closed all of its stores one day last fall. The company filed for bankruptcy protection, and its assets were acquired at auction for $1.7 million by Mark Tress's Arrow Equity Firm and partner Steve Fisher of Fisher Capital Investments. The new owners also paid approximately $1 million more to landlords at the shuttered stores for back rent.
To revitalize the brand, the new backers hired Organic Avenue's co-founder Denise Mari — who left the company three years before it filed for bankruptcy — to help them run the new iteration of the chain. Mari and her partners will bring back many of the popular juices and salads, while adding some new dishes like "organic espresso bars" and gluten-free pastries. All the bottling will be done at the Chelsea location and they plan to introduce a wholesale division, too.
Some of the stores are slated to reopen this week, including the Bleecker Street shop, the Chelsea outpost, and the location near Bryant Park. Mari notes that the spaces are also getting tweaked so that "they look more like lifestyle stores."