If you’re ever spent any time in Europe, you know the wonders of Nutella.
Across the Atlantic, the creamy chocolate-hazelnut spread serves many of the same functions as peanut butter, enhancing toast and baked goods of all kinds.The product created by Italian confectioner Pietro Ferrero as a cheaper alternative to chocolate after World War II keeps a lower profile in the U.S., but an expanding line of cafes dedicated to the increasingly popular spread is poised to change that.
The country’s second Nutella Cafe is slated to open near Union Square by year’s end, owner and operator Ferrero, the makers of Nutella, announced in a news release Thursday.
The first launched in Chicago last May, in a space featuring a sleek minimalist design, cafe-style seating, and a menu of crepes and other Nutella-infused breakfast foods, paninis, salads, coffee drinks and Nutella-based desserts.
Renderings for the new counter-service cafe at 116 University Place, near 13th Street, show an interior in the colors of a Nutella jar (creamy white, bright red and nutty brown), modern furniture arranged for small and large groups, an open counter, outdoor seating and yellow flower-shaped light fixtures hanging from the ceiling.
A menu has yet to be released, but the press release promises “dishes tailored especially for [New Yorkers]” and specialty espresso beverages. (Here’s where we do our duty to remind you that while Nutella contains only five ingredients — cocoa, palm oil, hazelnuts, sugar and skim milk powder — and if you eat two tablespoons, more than half of what you’ve ingested is sugar. Ferrero actually paid $3 million in 2012 to settle a class-action suit that called out the company for advertising and labeling its product as healthy.)
Vice president of operations for the cafe, Rick Fossali, credited enthusiasm for the original location as Ferrero’s impetus for expanding the concept: “There truly is nothing like the taste of Nutella hazelnut spread, and with the overwhelmingly positive reaction to Nutella Cafe Chicago, we know our fans feel the same way,” Fossali said in a statement. “It’s their excitement that propelled us to open another Nutella Cafe.”
New Yorkers have anticipated the cafe’s arrival since last September, when a real estate source told the Commercial Observer Ferrero was eyeing a 2,200-square-foot space at the base of a residential condo development in Greenwich Village.
Take a peek at renderings of the new cafe: