By: Natalie Manitius
Arlington’s Little City Gourmet was shy of nine months old when it closed its doors in January, but the space has since turned into Urban Pantry, a mixed concept of retail, sandwiches and gelato.
Under the leadership of owner Max Emma, formerly a catering sales manager with Little City Gourmet, Urban Pantry reopens Monday, March 3. After a business reevaluation coupled with community feedback, Little City Gourmet owner Rachelle Slotnick sold the business to colleague Emma, who has since redesigned the concept. Though patrons can still expect some of the former items like coffee and sandwiches to remain intact, now under the direction of a new chef, Kenneth Hues, Urban Pantry greets newcomers with a largely revamped retail section.
Emma comes into Urban Pantry with an eclectic business background, which includes co-owning an art gallery with his mother, selling Paleo diet dinners in NoVA gyms and catering for corporate events , the last of which remains a large component of Urban Pantry’s operation. Slotnick remains with the business in a new capacity, going from executive chef to chief operating officer.
Patrons can expect a combination of “product overhaul and cosmetic changes,” Emma says. The new space reduced its seating, making way for an extensive wine wall (pictured), locally sourced eggs and dairy from Trickling Springs Creamery, specialty candies, jams, breads, to-go meals, deli meats and over 45 different cheeses, selected by Hues.
Breakfast options include crepes and omelets, while lunch offers sandwiches, salads and soups. Urban Pantry also provides Illy Coffee, pastries baked in-house and gelato. Supported by customer feedback, wine is available both bottled and by the glass in house. Urban Pantry will also cater to the growing NoVA brunch cult, offering a sit-down weekend brunch equipped with mimosas, bellinis, craft beer and brewed marys, bloody marys made with beer in lieu of vodka. / Opening March 3; 2121 N. Westmoreland St, Arlington; 571-335-4983.