Vegan Mexican Joint ‘JaJaJa’ Opens Friday on East Broadway
The light board has been affixed to the facade of 162 East Broadway for months. Now, it’s lit up with the greeting, “Hola Chinatown! We see you.” This is how the plant-based newcomer JaJaJa is announcing itself to the Chinatown neighborhood it invaded.
It opens to the public on Friday.
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. Now they’re trying capitalize on the Dimes and Dirty Candy vibe/crowd.
The new cantina describes itself as a “hybrid venture that caters to the unique way New Yorkers eat, meet, and share.” Here’s more babble from the Facebook page.
[JaJaJa] will feature an extensive Tequila and Mezcal program, traditional Mexican beers on tap, Mexican-style lagers and pilsners from local microbreweries, fresh pressed juices, and plant based Mexican fare with options for both comfort and health.
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 (newsstand and bakery). Their departure from 162 East Broadway came shortly after Garos’ partner in Gelso & Grand – Hassan Gholizadeh – purchased the building for $6.6 million (December 2015).