Pepsi fries, Pepsi burger, Pepsi salad — sound appetizing? PepsiCo, the biggest competitor to Coca-Cola and the producer of some of the world’s most famous snacks, has been popular for more than 100 years. Now, the iconic company is trying to expand its multi-billion dollar empire by opening a hybrid restaurant, bar and event space called Kola House, to be located in Chelsea. But one thing is missing from the menu — the actual Pepsi soda.
The company is recruiting a cast of heavy-hitters to make Kola House a household, upscale name — one that doesn’t include any sodas at all, but rather, a slew of fancier drinks. PepsiCo’s design team is partnering with Lenny Kravitz’s interior design firm, Kravitz Design Inc., to produce a space worth walking into. The company has not announced an executive chef nor released a menu; however, food and beverages will be inspired by the Kola nut — the fruit responsible for Pepsi’s cola flavor. Mixologist Alex Ott will be responsible for creating the cocktails.
The restaurant-bar-event hybrid comes from the company’s partnership with Live Nation to produce a special music series entitled “Live at the Kola House,” which will feature up close and personal musical performances by some of today’s most famous artists. Burgers and Beyoncé: sounds like a dream. But how much will it cost you?
CAS freshman Virginia Zhang predicts possible issues with a high-priced restaurant.
“I’m just concerned to know if Pepsi will be able to maintain its wide audience and the affordability once they establish this restaurant, if the prices will be really expensive and if that will cut off some of the consumers,” Zhang said.
Pepsi is a brand most widely recognized for being a go-to beverage and snack. Some students, like Steinhardt freshman Tiffany Bryant, feel that Kola House is part of an effort to appeal to an upscale clientele.
“Pepsi has always been seen as selling things that are cheaper and more affordable,” Bryant said. “By opening up a restaurant they’re becoming more elite.”
Regardless of how much it will cost, Zhang says the restaurant will be worth a try.
“It’s kind of like Max Brenner, just the fact that you should go there at least once,” Zhang said. “Just for the experience and just because it’s such a big name.”
This Friday, Kola House had its opening celebration at Pier 70 in San Francisco. Musician Swizz Beatz performed at the party. This huge celebration during Super Bowl weekend was part of an effort to spread the word before opening day.
While there is no set date for the Chelsea opening, the company is planning for a spring 2016 launch.
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