Belgian chocolatier Godiva opens its first-ever cafe today, serving chocolatey drinks, sandwiches, and a croissant-waffle hybrid in a coffee shop-like space in Midtown.
The Godiva-branded parlor opened early this morning at 560 Lexington Ave., on 50th Street, with a different mission than its chocolate gift stores found in malls across the country. Here, the idea is to sell both sweet and savory foods like sandwiches, salads, and drinks that normally aren’t found in the company’s stores.
The menu, by executive chef Thierry Muret, also includes something called a “croiffle” — or Godiva’s version of a Cronut, except here a croissant is pressed into a hot waffle. The social media-friendly concoction will come in six flavors, such as stuffed with melted Gruyère, Havarti, and Swiss cheeses; egg and gouda; and, of course, chocolate. The brand’s recognizable chocolate-covered strawberries will of course also be sold.
This new cafe is a similar model as the pop-up Godiva opened at Penn Station in February, which served as temporary shop to gauge New Yorkers’ reaction to the new concept. The company has ambitious plans to expand into the restaurant space, aiming to open 2,000 such cafes over the next six years, including 10 in the Northeast by the end of the year.
To that end, earlier this week, Real Housewives of New York star Bethenny Frankel was paid to stop by, as were food influencers who shared photos of the croiffle.
This kind of big-brand, gimmicky “cafe” isn’t new to Manhattan. In November, the Nutella Cafe opened in Union Square with a menu solely dedicated to the hazelnut spread, and soon after, a cafe from Italian chocolatier Venchi opened with a 45-foot-long, 10-foot-high chocolate waterfall inside, surely meant to lure in tourists.
Godiva Cafe is open daily from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.