Cultivating community within the fabric of a sprawling urban landscape may be a formidable challenge, but the recently opened concept, NatureEs, has already created a spirited retreat in the heart of New York City’s East Village.
Co-owner Alain Palinsky, who also co-founded the juice bar chain Juice Press, has a vision for NatureEs that ventures way beyond the juice bottle.
It intends to be a community-centric destination that boasts a 360-degree approach to whole living — with sustenance for the body, mind, and spirit.
The two-level, 5,000-square-foot facility at 21 East 1st Street, billed as a “wellness recreation center,” features a 56-seat café with all-organic, mostly vegan offerings. Seasonal items include soups, which have been called “orgasmic,” along with fresh salads and sandwiches, too. The menu is always changing and is “too big to print,” jokes Palinsky. “I don’t even know what’s on it most of the time, but I guarantee if you come in, we’ll feed you,” he says.
You may even get lucky and swing by when the special Indonesian cacao truffles are available. The breakfast bar is a must, too. Organic food blogger Max Goldberg has said the vegan coconut milk porridge and coconut yogurt are “the best organic breakfast in the city”.
A full selection of made-to-order smoothies and juices, with names as feisty as their flavor profiles, also makes an appearance, too.
Try the Starter Wife (avocado, frozen pineapple, ginger, fresh spinach, and coconut water), or perhaps the Matcha Maca Smooth Criminal (banana, coconut meat, handmade coconut milk, matcha, maca, raw honey, and Himalayan pink salt) is more your speed.
The design of this veritable haven in the city likewise reflects its all-natural, organic approach with a minimalist aesthetic anchored by green plant walls, wood paneling, and custom lighting. There’s even an in-house retail boutique, Sante, with natural skincare and beauty products.
Lest you think this place is venturing a bit too wholesome, the Sex, Drugs, and Rock ‘n’ Roll collection of Crystal Pure CBD body oils by Victorine NYC assures a dash of provocative spice. So, too, will the bathhouse downstairs, once the permits are finalized.
Palinsky has big plans to fully transform the basement into a proper bathhouse with all of the fixings, including a Himalayan salt room, float pool, and a sauna and steam room. As it stands, though, there’s actually plenty of action already occurring below the first floor café.
Yoga, meditation classes, spa treatments and skincare services, including massages and facials, are all on the menu. And, the area will also eventually double as a bar and lounge for socializing once the sun goes down—with slightly cleaner variations on the standard drink tab, naturally.
“We couldn’t be more excited about introducing NatureEs to the market. We look forward to building upon this curated approach to wellness and introducing it to other locations throughout the world,” said Palinsky, who also sees the concept as a perfect enhancement to corporate, hotel and residential properties.
“It’s all about the ‘Es’ to make it to easy,” says Palinsky about the name NatureEs. “Energy, enjoyment, excellence, excitement, earthiness, entertainment, eats, evolution, exercise, enlightenment…” and the list of ‘Es’ goes on.
NatureEs is a fresh idea and welcome addition to the highly competitive NYC juice scene, and look for me hanging out by the wall of plants with a Fatal Attraction in hand (orange, pink grapefruit, ginger, and turmeric powder)— after yoga, of course.