Restaurantarama has been dying to tell you this for quite some time: Revolutionary Soup is coming to the Corner!
Why have we been so antsy about busting this out? Well, two reasons—one, we consider it noteworthy when a completely homegrown business takes a great leap forward, as when Brix Marketplace recently expanded to Pantops or Shenandoah Joe morphed from roastery to café-and-roastery. And two, Rev Soup owner Will Richey understandably wanted to hold off on the story until he could officially sign his name to the former First Wok space on 14th Street. Just like when we get a wicked jones for a wild mushroom wrap that we can’t immediately satisfy, having to wait made us all the hungrier.
You say you want an evolution? How about Will Richey bringing Rev Soup to the Corner.
Anyway, the time has arrived for a second Rev Soup. Why now? “The biggest driving force was the fact that I’ve really got a tight staff at Rev 1,” Richey says. “I said why not? I’m young, I’ll throw myself into the chaos of the world now while I can still take it.”
Specifically, that would be the chaos of the Corner lunch scene. We wouldn’t necessarily say that ‘Hoos are revolutionary types—this ain’t Berkeley, after all—but we see no reason why they won’t eat soup for lunch. “Our food and our philosophy is the healthy, the local,” says Richey. “I think students are starting to appreciate that type of stuff more.”
Yeah, but will they pay for it? Richey thinks they’ll meet him in the middle. “When I experiment [Downtown] I come out with higher end items,” he says, mimicking himself: “Wouldn’t it be great if we served caviar salad?” For the academic crowd, he’ll reign himself in a bit. “We’ll have all the basics and when I do put a special out, it’ll be a $4.50 or $5 special as opposed to a $7.50 or $8 special,” he says.
Likewise on a budget, Richey will keep the First Wok furniture and leave the space largely as it is, save for some painting and light renovation. He says he intends to move quickly and open as soon as June 18. Oh, here’s one way this second Soup represents a true revolution: possible outdoor seating.
Also betting on the idea that students will spring for a healthy bite is a quartet of entrepreneurs who plan to open a juice and smoothie bar called Sublime. It’ll be in the Dixie Divas spot, maybe by August, and look for it to function on a higher plane than your average blender chain.
The temptation to make a pun on “fruity” is almost too great to bear when someone talks about the connection between smoothies and chakras. But we actually think it’s very cool that Geoff Robinson, Tim Rose, Julia Jondahl and Stuart Madany plan to combine their experiences in both restaurants and various healing practices like reiki and nutritional counseling.
The upshot? “People on the go will be able to grab fresh squeezed juice and some other small freshly made items of the highest quality, and get it in their bodies and get the quick vitality and energy from it,” says Robinson. So: smoothies, juices, and little bites like spring rolls and lettuce wraps, many made with local and organic produce. And if you want to get really serious, you can order a smoothie designed in color and ingredients to specifically stimulate one of your seven chakras—for example, for the root chakra, a bright red one made from beets, carrots and ginger.
The theory behind all this? “That’s a whole course in itself,” says Robinson. Or you can just get some juice.
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