The founder of UK-based Pret A Manger is now bringing Itsu, the Asian-inspired fast-food chain to New York which will open in 2018.
Julian Metcalfe — who is responsible for opening dozens of Pret locations in NYC — will be rolling out Itsu in a 2,100-square-foot space at 530 Seventh Avenue in Midtown, years after the restaurant made a brief appearance in New York in 2006 as a franchise pop-up. It will be the only location outside of the UK, where there are more than 70 locations.
Like Pret, Itsu has to-go prepared foods, except the menu takes from Asian cuisine — or as a statement Euro-centrically calls it, “the amazing flavours of the Far East” [sic]. Its 64-item menu offers sushi rolls, salad with miso salmon, dumplings and rice, chicken teriyaki, and udon noodles. It’s supposed to be “light and good for you,” Metcalfe said in a statement.
Eventually, expect Itsu to open all over New York City, too. Metcalfe wants to keep expanding the chain, and if his ambition in growing Pret is any indication, Itsu could end up being ubiquitous. For reference, New York City now has more than 50 locations of Pret.