Long-running vegan restaurant Organic Grill shuts down; Eugene Hütz, Gary Holt, Walter Schreifels & more pay tribute

We’re super bummed to hear that long-running NYC organic, vegan restaurant The Organic Grill has closed its doors for the last time!

A message from them reads:

The Organic Grill is officially closed. Thank you for the great times, wonderful connections, and amazing memories! Every day over the years, we gave nothing less than 100 percent of our effort. It was always important to our family to offer organic, minimally processed food made from scratch. We took our responsibilities very seriously, never cutting corners, and always working hard—sometimes too hard!—but always with passion, hearts, and love. I truly hope you felt it through our meals. We are very, very sad. I’m not going to lie, we all cried a lot those last couple of days. But we are also relieved because it was an uphill battle that we fought but could not win. To our patrons who supported us over the years, you know who you are. You know without any doubt that we love you, respect you, and cherish you. To all the musicians and artists who have performed and supported us over the years: you are wonderful, and we are so proud of you! We have enjoyed your art and talents immensely. We wish your aspirations, dreams, and hard work fulfill you! To those folks and organizations I approached for collaboration and assistance who ignored us, we still love you and wish you success and prosperity. Just never forget how to be human, and if your position requires you to do a job, then do the job or get out of the way and take your ego along with you. We know you are working on ‘bigger and better things,’ but those blue-collar people need to be heard and helped too. Humility, compassion, and a real desire to make a real difference can amplify whatever you are working on. Helping should never be beneath you; it is the highest level of empathy.For those of you who have not tried our food and are just reading this message, we hope you discover the beautiful taste of real vegan dishes made from real ingredients by real people with love, just for you! And once you find it, support those establishments. Show them love and appreciation by visiting often. They need you and can’t sustain themselves without your support.

We wish for vegan and vegetarian communities to become stronger, consistent in their actions, united, non-political, supportive, and nurturing, promoting reciprocal relationships that benefit all involved. We hope for organizations and leaders in the community to see vendors and hardworking individuals not only as donors and sponsors but as those who actually build and shape the communities they represent. To all the food influencers, social media personalities, and press: thank you very much. Most of you are doing great work and really helping food establishments. It’s definitely needed and appreciated! For those of you who require payment for what you do, there’s nothing wrong with that; just remember to do it ethically and publicly, not discreetly. Don’t endorse those who pay you in a way that looks organic and genuine if it’s not. That’s simply unethical. There are no buts about it. It’s clear as day. Because it manipulates public opinion, making it look like they earned attention, coverage, and publicity when in fact they bought it. It creates an unfair advantage over those who choose not to pay or can’t afford it. Life is not fair, but you must play honestly. The public trusts you, and you need to be transparent. FYI: We have acquired significant debt due to the abrupt closing. We would greatly appreciate any support you can offer. Until we meet again!

The news follows a message from the restaurant last month that they have been “facing the toughest times in Organic Grill history. In the past few years, over 1,000 long-standing restaurants in New York have closed their doors for good. In the next couple of weeks, our family has to decide whether we can continue to operate.” They also launched a GoFundMe, writing that the “rising costs of organic food and the loss of corporate catering due to remote work are jeopardizing us.” Proceeds will now go to paying down their debt.

Organic Grill was one of NYC’s first organic restaurants, and operated for over 20 years out of its East Village location at 123 First Ave between Seventh Street and St. Mark’s Place, before moving to the West Village on W 3rd St. in 2022. They were one of our favorite spots, and also became a go-to for the NYHC community with notable NYC vegan musicians like John Joseph of Cro-Mags often repping the spot, and hanging with owner and chef Vlad Grinberg. The OG Instagram post is full of notable names from the scene eulogizing the restaurant. Here are some:

  • Eugene Hütz of Gogol Bordello: “Brother Vlad , so bummed out and sorry to hear this, we love you and everything about your place , I’m certain there is another era ahead , we are looking forward to it , sending you much love and sopport.”
  • Walter Schreifels (Gorilla Biscuits, Rival Schools, Quicksand, etc): “Oh no!! Def the end of an era, thank you the amazing food, community and kindness.”
  • Jason Navarro of The Suicide Machines: “So sorry hopefully a new beginning comes of it.”
  • Gary Holt of Slayer and Exodus: “So sorry to hear this😢”
  • Puzzled Panther: “So sorry to hear this 💔 Thank you for all the wonderful memories made, people we met through OG, and the best organic vegan food ever! 🥂💫”
  • Crazy and the Brains: “Sending all the love and strength to you and your family Vlad. Organic Grill has always been an iconic force nourishing NYC culturally and spiritually! On to the next chapter my brother we love you ❤️‍🔥”
  • Derrick Greene of Sepultura: “💔 🙏🏾 Definitely will see you again Vlad this is not the end. 💚”
  • Hardcore filmmaker Drew Stone: “We miss you already.”
  • Michael Alago: “Sorry to hear this. Please let us know when you reopen elsewhere.”
  • Wisdom in Chains: “🙏🏼”
  • Sick of it All‘s manager Lauren Kusters: “❤️🙏🏻”
  • Chaka Malik of Burn and Orange 9MM: “Vlad, i must have missed a post as I didn’t know you were in jeopardy of closing. The meal @trevorsilmser and I had there was great. I pray that new and maybe unexpected doors are opened that lead to bigger, better, and more sustainable things 🙏🏾. Love Chaka”

We’re sorry to see you go, Organic Grill. Contribute to the GoFundMe here.