Popular Vegan Restaurant By Chloe Rebrands Itself as Beatnic, Stays Open
Popular fast-casual plant-based chain By Chloe is back, but with a new name–Beatnic. Following the restaurant’s bankruptcy and reorganization, the company's new owners took the reigns to rescue the vegan fast-food staple from complete closure. The company's new owners revealed to Fortune that its new name is a reference to its original location in Greenwich Village and its relationship with the Beatnick movement.
Originally founded by plant-based chef Chloe Coscarelli and Samantha Wasser in 2015, the popular chain shaped the vegan fast-casual scene across New York, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. The fast-casual restaurant grew to 14 locations spanning across the three states, but due to financial hardship caused by the COVID-19 shutdown, the company was reduced to 10 locations.
The redesigned and rebranded restaurant had endured other troubles. In late 2020, co-founder Chloe Coscarelli regained control of her company with a 50 percent ownership, after having a four-year legal battle with the investors but she learned that the company had filed for chapter 11 and went into bankruptcy. Now re-organized, Beatnic will be led by Catey Mark Meyers, the chain’s former chief of staff who aims to revive the beloved vegan chain.
"While in bankruptcy, we renegotiated some key agreements, most notably our leases, which allowed us to arrive at more tenable terms," Meyers, who replaced Haber in the interim after his initial resignation and is now permanently company president. "We went through a sales process, and ultimately were bought by a consortium of some of our previous equity owners through an asset purchase in early May. The bankruptcy case was dismissed with the transaction."
Beatnic’s menu will introduce a fresh spin on By Chloe’s fan-favorites. Consumers will be able to get their favorite and most-loved vegan foods, but Meyers announced that Beatnic will be introducing a fresh, new list of vegan foods for people to try.
"We’ve brought back a few re-imagined fan favorites, including our Peanut Crunch salad, which was the single most requested item. Years after it was delisted, we were still getting a handful of requests each week to bring it back," Meyers says. "We’ve also introduced a few new items; one of my favorites is our Toasted S’mores Bar which is a really fun twist on the classic summer dessert. We have a really tasty Chicky sandwich in the works, which will hit menus towards the end of the summer."
Following its Chapter 11 bankruptcy, By Chloe was likely to permanently close, but with Meyers and outside investors’ involvement, the vegan fast-casual eatery will be able to continue serving vegan diners in NYC. Beatnic’s latest investors include NYC-based venture capital firm Kitchen Fund and Saudi investment holding fund Sisban Food. The investment will allow Beatnic to not only reopen, but to expand, catching the momentum that By Chloe had in the vegan food scene prior to the lockdown.
"We have ambitious growth plans; we did not go through a restructuring and rebranding process to maintain our current footprint," Meyers says. "As soon as we complete the rebranding, we will reinitiate our expansion plans. We’ll look to fill in key gaps in New York City while also bringing the concept to another domestic city to prove its viability outside of our primary market."
The flagship location in Greenwich Village (located on the corner of Bleecker Street and MacDougal Street) is currently slated to open back up in September. Soon, vegan customers will be able to visit their favorite plant-based fast-casual restaurant with a fresh twist.