Have you ever wondered how awesome it would be to eat a vegan nacho salad, sip an organic juice, enjoy a colon hydrotherapy session and then do yoga without having to drive to four different businesses? Even if the answer is no, you're in luck, because The Springs — a 13,800-square-foot community wellness center featuring a yoga studio, holistic treatments, in-house juice bar and a 100-percent vegan, raw, organic restaurant with 92 seats — is set for a soft opening in late August and a grand opening after Labor Day.
If this combination sounds like a unique business proposal, that's because it is. According to co-owners Jared Stein and Kimberly Helms, the $1.3 million project is not only the first of its kind in Los Angeles but anywhere in the world.
The pair met while working for Broadway shows in New York and while the original concept — which Helms describes as "truly Jared's idea" — was to open The Springs in the Big Apple, a touring production of American Idiot shifted the pair's focus from the East Coast to downtown's Arts District.
"I've had this idea for The Springs for quite some time," Stein says. "But it wasn't until we drove through the neighborhood and discovered what was happening here that we decided to drop everything and make the move out here. There was literally this gut feeling that this was where this had to happen."
"As New Yorkers," Helms says, "there was some familiarity for us. Not to compare, but it has a little bit of that Brooklyn feel. The rawness and potential of this area hearkened to that."
While it's still too early to know exactly what will be served, Helms lists nacho salad, green curry, kelp noodles and spanakopita as examples of what will be featured on chef Ian Martin's (Planet Raw, M.A.K.E.) menu.
The 41-year-old Helms describes the menu concept as "some really interesting, hefty, layered flavors" and "a high-profiled vegan cuisine." She says that customers won't have to worry about entering The Springs and feeling like they'll have a political agenda pushed on them.
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"Jared and I are vegan, but the overall through-line for the space is creating accessibility and creating an experience," Helms says. "We definitely don't have a soapbox or a dogma that we're pushing. The food itself happens to be vegan, but it's first and foremost a foodie experience."
The complete foodie experience, I guess, especially if you include that colon hydrotherapy part.