One of Philadelphia’s most popular brunch spots, Chhaya Cafe will open in their new space at 1819 East Passyunk on Thursday, August 21, 2014. The new space will nearly double the size of their former location.
Chhaya means a shelter, a place of shady tranquility will now offer tranquility to new neighbors. Popular for its organic coffee and playful twist to classic dishes, Chhaya will continue to serve breakfast, lunch, and brunch (on weekends). Those who have frequented Chhaya in the past will have a nice surprise as chef and owner Varnana “V” Beuria, has put together new menu items and as well as late summer/early fall seasonal specials.
As far as design V enlisted the help of Toner Architects to create a floor plan that will provide for purposeful spaces for dining, relaxing, laptop use, working, socializing and more. The layout was designed to be set up like a bar, not a traditional coffee shop. Beuria wants guests to communicate and interact with the baristas like a customer does at a bar. “workers have always had an intimate relationship with customers, and will continue in the larger space,” Beuria adds. The new larger space has been designed to provide guests with the same intimate, quiet and tranquil feel of the former space. Beuria wants the new to feel more modern, but preserve a warm and cozy feeling. “I used a lot of wood to bring the warmth in, to make it feel intimate even though the space is larger,” said Beuria.
Beuria found inspiration from traveling around and doing research around the country. In particular, she took notice of a place in Washington DC called the Coupe in Columbia Heights – an upscale diner coffee bar, lounge and full service bar. The centerpiece of the new location will feature a coffee bar with seating in the front for baristas and customers to interact with each other, not just place and order and run.
Bueria sees the new location as a beginning of a bright future. As far as future changes, Chhaya will explore adding later hours, ramping up baked goods, additional vegan and vegetarian offerings, increasing our popular pie of the day program, and some other surprises in the kitchen.