G-Monkey Owners Chef Mark Shadle and Ami Beach announced Monday that they will be closing their West Hartford restaurant but maintaining and expanding their food truck business and pursuing exciting new events and endeavors.
By Ronni Newton
G-Monkey’s brick and mortar restaurant will be closing its doors in mid-December as its owners, Chef Mark Shadle and Ami Beach, plan to transition their business and re-channel their energies into their highly-successful food truck as well as some new endeavors.
“We’re excited. We’re leaving on the best terms,” Beach said in a phone interview Monday.
After 30-plus years of owning three highly successful restaurants (Shadle was a prior owner of ION in Middletown and together they owned G-Zen in Branford and own G-Monkey in West Hartford), both Beach and Shadle have reassessed their priorities to afford them more flexibility, freedom, and creativity, and that includes having the ability for more intimate, one-on-one interaction with clients.
G-Monkey opened at 625 New Park Avenue in West Hartford in 2022.
“When you own a restaurant, you spend most of your time behind the scenes,” Shadle said in the announcement. “I want to share some of my extensive knowledge with others through teaching and consulting opportunities and spend more time getting around our state with our first food love, the G-monkey Mobile, established in 2009. Our era of sit-down dining is coming to an end – but have no fear, we will continue serving up our cult classic signature recipes on our truck from the shoreline to the Hartford/West Hartford area and beyond, you can expect to see us ‘FARM to STREET’ serving up our plant-based award-winning yummies.”
Beach said they will be giving their top-rated vegan food truck a new look with the branding of the G-Monkey Plant-Based Fast Food concept, and will be returning to West Hartford’s GastroPark and other nearby locations. Plans are also to possibly franchise the food truck.
In addition to focusing on the food truck, Shadle and Beach plan to develop “an exclusive one-on-one vegan Caribbean adventure retreat at their home in Puerto Rico. They also plan to host intimate monthly ‘tonic and talk’ lectures at their farm in Durham CT, covering diverse topics related to vegan nutrition and holistic lifestyle as well as planning to rollout their new ventures with the launch of ZenNourished,” the announcement states.
“We will unveil a new dimension in ‘Food, Curated Experiences, and Connection. The brand will never stop offering crazy-delicious, super organic, made-from-scratch plant-based recipes that will always leave you feeling good about eating healthy and doing right by the planet,” according to Beach.
The ZenNourished website is already live, and anyone interested can sign up for a free recipe eBook. Beach said ZenNourished.com will include an active blog, and she also plans to integrate her plant-based nutritional healing consultations on a limited basis.
“G-Monkey was, and is, a completely successful business. It’s not that it doesn’t work,” said Beach. And she and Shadle are definitely not retiring, but rather focusing on a “joyful next chapter” – and hope their customers will continue with them on the journey.
The plans are for G-Monkey to close on Saturday, Dec. 16 at 7 p.m., and they will be full-steam-ahead until the closing, Beach said, including offering holiday specials. Gift cards will continue to be accepted at the restaurant, and after closing will also be accepted on the G-Monkey truck.
As for the future of the 625 New Park Avenue space – there’s already a new tenant in place with an opening planned for early 2024. Beach said it’s a great new restaurant, “a modern and unique, Singapore-inspired Asian fusion concept” that will be a perfect fit for the thriving neighborhood.
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