Looking Inside ‘JaJaJa,’ the Vegan Mexican Restaurant at 162 East Broadway

Posted on: April 13th, 2017 at 5:05 am by

jajaja-3

Hold onto your sombreros, JaJaJa is on the proverbial precipice of opening at 162 East Broadway.

JaJaJa (Plantas Mexicana) is a vegan Mexican restaurant helmed by Gelso & Grand proprietor Nima Garos and partner Koorosh Bakhtiar. The concept has been in the works for more than a year, and evolved along the way. For one, the establishment previously went by “Gracias Mama,” and also, the menu wasn’t always strictly vegan.

Meanwhile, the wooden blinds are now twisted open during daytime hours, just enough to view the completed cantina. Porters cleaning the premises this week tell us that opening should be “next month.” By the sight of things, it could come sooner.

Jajaja-1

Jajaja was not forged without controversy, though. Bakhtiar and Garos caused quite a stir from the outset (when it was still Gracias Mama) having dispensed with two long-running Chinese businesses in its commercial space. The application became a skirmish over gentrification, with 162 East Broadway ground zero in the fight between Chinatown, the upper-crust Lower East Side, and the block associations representing each. Much of the opposition arguments centered around the front door above the East Broadway subway station, so placed to skirt the 200-foot law in relation to St. Teresa’s church.

Jajaja-2

Recent Stories

Uncapped: Beneath the Paint with the Legendary AUDIE U5

This latest installment of Uncapped is more than a year in the making, and we are stoked to have Audie U5 join us. BOWERY BOOGIE: Audie U5. Welcome to the series. Instead of the cherished and/or default “what do you write?” how about, why do you write “Audie?” Audie U5: Always Undeniably Dope In Everything!  Nah, […]

Man Jumped to His Death from Ludlow Street Rooftop

A man jumped to his death from a Lower East Side tenement rooftop Wednesday night. The unidentified man, believed to be in his twenties, took the plunge from atop 175 Ludlow Street at about 11:45pm. The suicide victim reportedly lived alone in a studio apartment there, according to a report in the Daily News. An […]

Here’s a Map Showing How the Lower East Side Voted in the City Council Election Last Week

With more than a week having elapsed since the general election, the above map plots the results of the City Council District 1 race. It was a heated campaign that saw incumbent Margaret Chin fighting for her life against the upstart Christopher Marte. Chin defeated Marte by nearly 3,000 votes to secure a third term […]

Cafe Henrie Shutters on Forsyth Street After 2 Years

Cafe Henrie, the artsy eatery founded by nightlife maven (and street artist) Andre Saraiva on Forsyth Street, closed earlier this week. Thus capping two years on the block. All elements of the establishment are gone, replaced with token brown paper in the windows. In retrospect, the writing was on the wall back in the summertime […]

What’s it Like Living or Working in Hell Square? [SURVEY]

What’s it like to live and work in Hell Square? That’s the question behind the second phase of the Hunter College graduate program study that analyzed public health and safety risk of liquor density on the Lower East Side. No, this isn’t a farce. It’s a legit effort to figure out a way to make […]