What should I have for lunch? It's a simple question, but one that had many Bushwickians on the hunt for healthy, meat-free options scratching their heads for quite some time now. Entrepreneur Kevin Reynolds saw the lack of nutritious, on-the-go food around the Myrtle Ave. station in Brooklyn, and decided to fill the gap with a new vegan-centric eatery and juice bar offering tasty wraps, salads, drinks and more. Called Salad Wheel, the warm and friendly restaurant features a "modern rustic farmhouse" feel, and provides a communal space for the neighborhood's commuters, artists and other professionals to congregate over fresh, homemade bites. We recently had a chance to visit the space and learn more about its reclaimed interior, storied past and promising future.
“I started Salad Wheel to aid the growing need to slow obesity, poor eating and lower income and diverse communities and to overall greaten peoples awareness of simple and healthy good food and beverages,” says Reynolds. The eatery’s name was one that he had been pondering over for the past 10 years, and alludes to a happy medium between a fast-paced commuter lifestyle and being able to still put healthy and delicious foods into your body. With a mostly vegan menu designed by culinary director Milla Paskal, Salad Wheel offers up an array of satisfying selections with new dishes added regularly. The southwest huevos rancheros, which comes piled high with poached eggs, avocado, corn, brown rice, black beans, feta drizzled with a chocolate tomato salsa is a mainstay but we’ve also seen delectable newcomers like the crustless quiche with pepper jack, broccoli and roasted peppers and a melty kale, feta and provolone quesadilla with a blueberry pommegranate salsa. Salad Wheel also juices up an assortment of fresh-squeezed fruit and veggie blends daily and shows love to omnivores too with select meat dishes like waffles and bacon.
Hungry Brooklynites who go to Salad Wheel for the food may find themselves cozying up and staying a while thanks to the warm decor and comfortable atmosphere. Reynolds, who comes from an interior design and branding background, took on the task of reimagining and revamping the space, which used to house a bar/club, using mostly salvaged materials. The entire renovation took just 5 months and Reynolds did much of the work himself with help from just two other people. Each element has been well-thought-out with design touches like 100-year-old windows to trim made from what appears to be pieces of a tree with bark and all, to a vintage trunk containing a very eerie surprise (click through our gallery to see what we mean). Reynolds refused to divulge where he acquired his materials except to say that they are from various sources that he would rather not reveal.
Vintage treasures are hidden all around Salad Wheel. Imagine our surprise when Kevin opened a hutch in the dining room and pulled out this 1985 copy of Interview!
In addition to feeding the stomachs of Bushwickians, Salad Wheel has already invested in satiating some of the nabe’s hunger for art and beauty. Reynolds has taken charge as the official curator of the large wall right outside of Salad Wheel, commissioning artists like Vexta, Marcine, Vernon Omeally, Celia Helfrich and Lisette Alcade to cover it with colorful murals that will change with the seasons. That sense of creativity will soon also fill up an inside wall with local art as well as limited edition t-shirts featuring “strong cultural imagery evoking the feeling of the neighborhood” by fashion designer JoAnn Berman, who is a neighbor and regular.
When we stopped by, Reynolds was also working on Salad Wheel’s back yard, which will debut this summer as an outdoor garden and performance space. So if you’re in the Bushwick, Bed Stuy or lower Williamsburg and feeling a little peckish, stop by Salad Wheel for some honest grub and a friendly place to rest your legs for a moment. Oh, and did we mentioned there’s free WiFi too?