After a tumultuous few years, popular vegan fast casual chain By Chloe is getting a complete makeover, starting with a new name.
The plant-based restaurant chain will now be known as “Beatnic,” in a nod to the original location’s roots in New York City’s Greenwich Village neighborhood.
“We wanted a name that was reflective of the brand’s personality,” Beatnic president Catey Mark Meyers tells Fortune exclusively. “Beatnic captures our vibrant, creative, and inclusive values—which were at the core of the Beatnik movement of the 1950s and 1960s—while also giving a nice nod to our original Bleecker Street location in the Village.”
Designed by creative and brand design agency Pearlfisher, a new logo features letters with a slight retro flair. The transition to new packaging, signage, and digital platforms will begin this month, with plans to be completed by September.
The brand refresh will also include some edits to the menu, but longtime fans of By Chloe can expect some things to remain the same. “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.”
The announcement follows some legal woes for the company, originally cofounded in 2015 by Samantha Wasser and namesake chef Chloe Coscarelli. Coscarelli, who also became well-known as a cookbook author and a contestant on Food Network’s Cupcake Wars, split from the company in 2017, which evolved a legal battle spanning several years.
And like all hospitality brands during the pandemic, By Chloe suffered from shutdown orders and reduced service to takeout and delivery in 2020. As a result, the company declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy in December 2020, announcing plans to sell itself as well as a leadership change involving the resignation of then-CEO Jimmy Haber.
Prior to the pandemic, By Chloe had 14 locations, but has since been reduced to 10 across New York, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. The flagship location in Greenwich Village will re-open in September 2021.
“While in bankruptcy, we renegotiated some key agreements, most notably our leases, which allowed us to arrive at more tenable terms,” explains Meyers, who replaced Haber in the interim 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 has since enlisted Saudi investment holding fund Sisban Food and New York-based venture capital firm Kitchen Fund as lead investors.
“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.”
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