New York City’s casual-dining mainstay Serafina – known for its homemade pastas and pizzas – announced last week it would open eight new fast-casual locations of its new concept, Serafina To-Go, in the NYC area beginning in February.
Additionally, the chain will be opening a 5,000-square-foot café in Midtown called Café Serafina in late February.
“Over the past 18 months, our fans expressed that they wanted easier access to their favorite Serafina locations as they navigated work and lifestyle changes. We’re very excited to now introduce Serafina To-Go and bring the brand to eight new neighborhoods,” said Vittorio Assaf, co-founder of Serafina Restaurant Group, in a release. “The Serafina name has always stood for bringing people together in a welcoming environment, and we are honored to invest in new locations and bring more of what our guests love to them, high quality Italian food in a very convenient way.”
Each of the fast-casual locations will range in size from 1,000 to 2,000 square feet and offer paninis and other Italian favorites in easy, to-go formats.
Menu items include Ravioli Pomodoro and Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe, a variety of thin-crust pizzas including the signature Black Truffle Pizza, paninis, seasonal salads, and Tiramisu. The new concept also serves Lavazza premium coffee, teas and assorted bottled beverages, fresh juices, and a curated list of Italian artisan beer and beautiful wines. Serafina To-Go is open daily for lunch and dinner.
“Everyone’s daily life has changed, especially as it relates to working, we wanted to make sure Serafina evolved with our guests, and we could provide them more choice in how they want to enjoy their Serafina favorites,” Assaf told Nation’s Restaurant News.
With 14 locations in New York City and the surrounding suburbs, two in Massachusetts and one in Miami, the eight new locations in the NYC area will take this Italian chain to a whole new level. And not just because the new locations are all fast-casual.
“Adapting our brand to a smaller footprint has allowed us to serve these new neighborhoods and we can’t wait to share our signature dishes with new guests, and loyal fans,” he continued.
The new Manhattan locations will be at: Sixth Avenue and Eighth Street; 30 Broad Street on the corner of the New York Stock Exchange; University Place and 12th Street; 22nd Street and Park Avenue South; 84th Street and Third Avenue; and Third Avenue and 48th Street. Additionally, there will be one location at the intersection of Jackson Avenue and Queens Boulevard in Queens and one at The Gateway Center at Penn Station in Newark, N.J.
As for Café Serafina, the all-day concept — like all Serafina concepts — is meant to transport customers to Italy — but this one specifically copies the Italian café concept.
“My partner Fabio and I have always wanted to recreate a truly authentic Italian café experience, one that is a part of our guests’ entire day,” Assaf said. “In Italy, the café lifestyle starts with morning coffee and pastry, and ends in the evening with drinks and delicious Italian fare.”
This casual-dining spot opens at 7 a.m. with pastries and espresso, turning into a lunch spot with pasta, paninis and pizza and, eventually, moving into salmon, steak and more for dinner.
“The larger footprint gives us more options to transition the space through breakfast, lunch and dinner. So, depending on the hour, the space always feels a little different,” he said.
And the space also serves as Serafina’s test kitchen, allowing Serafina to test new recipes for the To-Go locations before rolling them out.