After a successful debut in New Haven, food cart Crepes Choupette will soon become a full-size restaurant within a year of opening.
Owner Adil Chokairy said that he plans to open the restaurant at the end of May on 24 Whitney Ave., across from Anna Liffey’s Irish Pub and Restaurant. While the cart — which exclusively sells crepes — will still remain in operation, the restaurant will feature an expanded menu that will include coffee and raclette, a Swiss cheese-based dish.
“It’s exciting to expand because with more machines we will finally be able to reach the demand,” said co-owner Aurelia Taleb.
Chokairy moved from France to the U.S. and founded the crepe cart, his first business venture in the country, in New Haven last June. Taleb said the cart, stationed at the intersection of College and Wall Streets during lunch hours, has gained widespread popularity among students.
The Whitney Avenue location, which is situated directly behind Timothy Dwight College, will join a number of restaurants on the street, including Katalina’s bakery and the recently opened New Haven Salad Shop. Natasha Mclain, a bartender at Anna Liffey’s, said she thinks the restaurant will bring increased traffic to the street.
“The owner is a dear friend, a great customer,” Mclain said. “It will be a great addition.”
Students interviewed expressed excitement about the restaurant, including Madeline Tomlinson ’17, who said the crepes are a “perfect quick lunch or snack for anytime.” She added that she believes the restaurant will be popular among students, potentially as a late-night food option.
Natalia Salinas ’17, who lives in Timothy Dwight, said she looks forward to another restaurant option near her residence.
“The crepe truck has been a cute and charming addition, so I think the restaurant expansion is a logical and welcome next step,” she said.
Chokairy said both he and Taleb, who are cousins, originally came to the U.S. from France to get married to their significant others. After they both married and settled in Connecticut, he said they decided to start a business which would allow them to spread joy in a simple way. He added that the social aspect of making crepes is crucial to his business, and that he values getting to know his customers personally.
Chokairy said he is planning an elaborate grand opening, with free crepes and wine. He added that since Yale students and faculty are his main customers, he plans to hold a grand opening when classes are in session in the fall.
Crepes Choupette offers both sweet and savory crepes, such as “The Choupette,” which contains fig spread, arugula, prosciutto and goat cheese, and “Amour et Jalousie,” which is filled with mascarpone and red fruits.