With the restaurant closure, owner Nicole Ponseca hopes for bigger things to come for Jeepney
One of the pioneer food spots to champion Filipino cooking in New York, Jeepney Restaurant, will be closing its doors on Sept. 25, 2021. This marks the end of its nine-year-long stay in the East Village.
While saying farewell is always a sad moment, founder and CEO Nicole Ponseca expressed that this wouldn’t be the last for Jeepney as she hopes it to become bigger in the future. Seeing things on a grander scale, she plans to partner with a restaurant group that will put the gastropub in multiple cities.
“I want to graduate from being an independent operator into something more formidable with more support,” she says in an interview with Eater. “I don’t want this to be the end of Jeepney.”
“I would like to see Jeepney grow into that,” Nicole continues. “It’s a hybrid of something that is fast-casual and something that is fine-casual. I call it fast-fancy.”
This is not the first concept restaurant Nicole established in New York. In 2011, she together with Miguel Trinidad opened Maharlika, a restaurant that featured a modern take on Filipino cuisine, which ended its journey in 2019. Jeepney is a follow-up to Maharlika and is highly known for introducing kamayan, Filipino communal eating heritage, to the Big Apple.
Jeepney is famous for reimagining Filipino flavors into contemporary dishes. Among the diners’ favorites are the award-winning Boracay-inspired Chori burger, vegan sisig, slow-roasted pork with bagoong, and, of course, adobo.
Currently, Nicole has two restaurants still operating in the US, the second branch of Jeepney and Filipino barbecue spot Tita Baby’s, both were launched in Miami, Florida earlier this year.