Yalies have a new reason to trek down to the Whitney-Audubon District for a healthy meal. After having to postpone its opening for almost a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, newcomer Saladcraft Co. has finally opened its doors to the public.
The establishment began to serve customers on Aug. 22, shortly before the mass arrival of Yale students for the fall semester.
In an August Facebook post, the restaurant described itself as “a new healthy eatery located in the Whitney-Audubon District specializing in fresh salads.” Thomas Nguyen is the owner of the new eatery located on 46 Whitney Ave. Across the street, Nguyen also owns poke shop Pokémoto, a favorite amongst Yalies. He opened Pokémoto in 2017.
The restaurant, with ample seating, is furnished in green and white tones. A glass screen separates customers from a variety of fruits and vegetables. Saladcraft’s menu includes everything from a classic Caesar salad to a more inventive “Tokyo Cowboy,” which consists of tofu, carrots, edamame, broccoli and greens of your choosing. Edwin Ramirez, an employee, told the News that despite the wide variety of preselected salads, most customers gravitate towards the “Make Your Own” salad bowl.
Ramirez also said that most customers are Yale students and local workers. When customers are not there, “pretty much the whole day” is spent disinfecting, he said.
Yale owns the building Saladcraft is located in, which used to be Moe’s Southwest Grill. As part of the University’s Community Investment Program, Yale has bought significant amounts of real estate property immediately surrounding the university, and is renting them to a variety of businesses. “The Shops at Yale” are all part of this program, as are several buildings on Whitney Avenue. Yale is one of the top four real estate tax payers in the city.
Nguyen said that they originally planned on opening mid-January, but due to the coronavirus pandemic were unable to do so. In the weeks that they have been open, delivery sales have comprised most orders. He added that they had to “adjust a couple of things,” such as getting rid of their original plan to include self-serve teas, in order to reopen around the time Yale started allowing students back.
Saladcraft is sandwiched between Good Nature Market, Whale Tea, Koffee? and Pokémoto. Nguyen told the News that he considers his restaurant “a good healthy option” in the neighborhood.
Isabella Dominguez ’24, a student in Timothy Dwight College, told the News, “I’ve yet to try it myself. Salad is hard to pull off — it’s hit or miss usually.” She added that “the only healthy option near my college is my dining hall, that I know of. To have a healthy option is great.”
Saladcraft Co. is open for delivery and in-person dining.
Ángela Pérez | firstname.lastname@example.org