Angelo Ashker isn't just adding another smoothie shop to his roster when he opens his restaurant at Main Street and West Ferry.
He's opened a center for healthy eating. Call it a coffee shop with a curriculum.
At 1526 Main St., in a former corner store space transformed by landlord Sinatra and Company, Ashker's on Main offers cold-pressed juices, smoothies and plant-based meals to the masses.
Breakfast and lunch will be plant-based, affordable dishes, Ashker said. Vegan chocolate chip scones, a rainbow of fresh pressed juices were among offerings on a recent morning.
In the event space next to the main restaurant dining room, Ashker plans weekend vegan dinners by a rotating cast of guest chefs are in the works.
Moreover, the restaurant will serve as a center for education, with room for cooking or nutrition classes and a library that encourages customers to grow their own food. Seeds and seedlings will be for sale.
There will also be a spot to sell local produce, some prepped for easier meal-making. They'll be offered with recipe cards with suggested dishes using the ingredient, Ashker said, following the restaurant's mission of empowerment and education.
"We'll have beans and rice, everything you need to make a complete meal here." Plus it will aim to be affordable and draw in everyone from the community, he said.
The restaurant, across the street from Willoughby Insurance, has been three years in the making, Ashker said. "It's taken us a lot longer than we thought," he said. "But the way it's coming out is great, so we're glad."
Ashker's on Main's hours are 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday for now. Weekends will be special events before dinner service is started "in the near future," Ashker said.
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