Come early August, health-food junkies living on the border of the Lower East Side and Chinatown will finally have a dumpling-free dining option to call their own. Amidst the plethora of greasy noodle bars, Alissa Wagner and Sabrina DeSousa are opening Dimes, an organic-focused café and juice bar.
“We’ve been looking at a lot of places in L.A. as business models,” explained Wagner. “They are much more focused on wellness out there and I think we really need that here, especially in this neighborhood.” They would know: Wagner and DeSousa both live on Canal Street, in what’s been called the Lower Lower East Side.
The two partners have extensive experience in the restaurant industry. Wagner trained as a chef at Chelsea’s Natural Gourmet Institute, and her resume reads like a roster of New York’s favorite neighborhood eateries, including The Smile; Five Leaves, where she spent five years as a waitress and dinner production cook; and Lovely Day, where she met DeSousa. DeSousa too is an industry veteran, and currently works at East Village favorite Northern Spy.
Their small 18-seat cafe will focus on what Wagner describes as “really good, healthy, beautiful food that won’t break your budget” — made, of course, with fresh, organic and locally-sourced ingredients.
In addition to the usual egg standards, breakfast will include more exotic fare like housemade granola, chia-seed pudding and Moroccan-style eggs with chickpeas and roasted tomatoes. For lunch, Wagner is planning to offer a $10 special featuring a choice of protein paired with two sides. There will also be espresso drinks, freshly squeezed juices, smoothies, acai bowls, and prepared foods to take out. And there are plans for beer and wine down the road.
Dimes is slated to open around August 15. For all the Canal St. health fiends lugging their kale and quinoa supplies all the way from the Bowery Whole Foods, we bet this day can’t come soon enough.
Dimes, 143 Division St., nr. Canal St.; no phone yet