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James Beard-Nominated Vegan Restaurant Cadence to Temporarily Close Ahead of Expansion

Ravi Derossi’s Overthrow Hospitality is moving the breakout vegan hit across the street

A photo of a female chef behind a marble bar.
Cadence chef Shenarri Freeman.
Eric Medsker/Cadence

Cadence, a breakout vegan hit in the East Village from Ravi Derossi’s Overthrow Hospitality, will hold its last dinner service at 122 East Seventh Street, between First Avenue and Avenue A, on Sunday, April 24 before relocating across the street. The shoebox-sized restaurant, which currently seats 12 diners, will reopen on Wednesday, May 4 in the former Saramsam space at 111 East Seventh Street with enough room to seat nearly five times the number of customers, Derossi shares with Eater.

Even before a glowing New York Times review packed diners into Cadence, Derossi says he had plans to expand next door or to find a larger space in the neighborhood. But a number of factors, including a backlog of liquor licenses waiting for approval from the State Liquor Authority and rising rent costs, convinced him to move the restaurant across the street into his short-lived vegan Filipino restaurant, Saramsam, which opened in September 2020 and closed last fall. “It was the simplest and easiest move for us,” Derossi says.

Fried lasagna in a white bowl.
Souther fried lasagna at Cadence.
Eric Medsker/Overthrow Hospitality

Chef Shenarri Freeman has been cooking from a four-foot-by-two-foot space behind the bar, which she says could barely fit two people. In the new kitchen, she’ll be able to serve her popular lasagna and cornbread to about 60 diners at a time. While most of Freeman’s vegan soul food menu will remain the same, she plans to bring back certain dishes like green collard wraps and experiment with newer dishes, such as a jackfruit curry recipe she’s been testing out.

The expansion is also an opportunity for Freeman to build upon her success in the past year, from numerous positive reviews for her cooking to a 2022 James Beard Award semi-finalist nomination.

“I didn’t expect any of this,” says Freeman. “I know I can cook, but there are a lot of great cooks out there. I don’t think I could ever have imagined Cadence being what it is today.”

Instead of the midnight blue and copper tones of the current space, the new restaurant will be lighter with touches of white, gold, pink, and turquoise. There will be a full bar for the first time as well, with acclaimed bartender Sother Teague in charge of the cocktails, many of which will be crafted to be low ABV.

The new location of Cadence joins a slew of vegan restaurants that Derossi has opened in the past few years. Next up is a raw vegan restaurant, slated to open in June, which will take over the current Cadence dining room, Derossi says. It’s yet to be named, but Xila Caudillo, the executive chef of Etérea — an East Village cocktail bar, also from Overthrow Hospitality, specializing in tequila, mezcal, and meat-free Mexican cuisine — will be in charge of a 12- to 14-course menu. A wine and dessert bar is also in the works to open next door.

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