Two New Fast Casual Concepts Coming to 57th

3rd ave openings

3rd Ave between 57th & 58th St is getting a couple of new lunch options this summer, and both seem to be a little more forward thinking than your average deli. On the east side of the street, a Mediterranean concept called “BarBanzo” will be opening soon. The google didn’t turn up anything definitive about this place, but it seems like their menu will likely focus on falafel. On the west side of 3rd Ave, Naked Pizza is a slightly more interesting opening. Founded in New Orleans shortly after Hurricane Katrina, and backed by investors Mark Cuban and Robert Kraft, the chain has expanded to over 25 locations across the US, as well as presence in Dubai.

They seem to have embraced the healthy, organic, sustainable, whole wheat pizza model (looks like Pizza by Certe will have some competition). They’re also big into the social media game, one article interestingly quoting the owners saying that, “Naked Pizza isn’t a pizza company, but a social media company that sells pizza”. So for the lunchers of Midtown East that have been craving more garbanzo beans, or eco-friendly, healthy, whole wheat, preservative-free, organic social media pizza, time to get excited.


  • It’s Mark Cuban with a C unless I’m missing a joke. Am I the joke?!

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    I wasn’t exactly sure if that place was called barbanzo or garbanzo. It was originally going to be another Chickpea, but maybe there was a franchising issue – I don’t know.

    I’m hoping for real fried falafel and not the baked ones that Chickpea serves.

    It seems to me that mediterranean is the current food trend. I also think its safe to say that the truck trend has finally reached its peak now that Rafiqi’s Midtown is in the game.

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