One of the first all-vegan restaurants in Philly is shutting its doors to get a makeover. HipCityVeg at 127 S. 18th Street will be closed starting October 30, so the Rittenhouse crowd will have to head elsewhere for tempeh burgers, chick’n fajita wraps, and carrot ginger lemonade. Owner Nicole Marquis expects the renovations to take a few weeks; she’s hoping to reopen next month.
Marquis opened HipCityVeg in Rittenhouse in April 2012. The fast-casual vegan concept was a hit, especially with the area’s lunchtime crowd. She’s since opened locations on Broad Street and in University City, and is part of the trend of Philly restaurant owners staking out spots in Washington, D.C. (see: Pizzeria Vetri, V Street, Stephen Starr). Marquis is also behind two vegan bars: Bar Bombon, serving Latin fare a few doors down from HipCityVeg in Rittenhouse, and Charlie Was a Sinner in the Gayborhood.
“When I was opening HipCityVeg five years ago, I painted the walls myself, put in the tile myself, bought appliances on sale. I didn’t have the means to make it as nice as I wanted,” Marquis said of the idea behind temporarily closing the Rittenhouse location. The renovations will make it look more like the two newest HipCityVegs, on Broad and in D.C.