First Look: Green Bar & Kitchen in Fort Lauderdale
In 2011, when nutritionist and holistic health coach Elena Pezzo, owner of Green Bar & Kitchen, learned of her brother Anthony's stroke and subsequent coma, she was devastated. Only a few years earlier, the 33-year-old New York native had lost both of her parents and had battled poor health and depression herself as a result.
All photos by Falyn Freyman Avocado Toast
Despite recommendations from numerous doctors that Anthony's family pull the plug, insisting he would remain a vegetable, Elena did not give up, and instead turned to spirituality and her holistic health food background to help bring back her brother.
After numerous setbacks and moments of discouragement, Elena demanded omega-3 fish oil be administered into his feeding tube, and slowly, Anthony began to recover and even speak. With the aid of other holistic modalities, E3 live, co Q10, "green" smoothies, and the continued love and support of his family, his condition continued to improve. Today, Anthony has regained 100 percent of his memory and cognition.
Recognizing the power of superfoods and acting on a calling to help others through her own experience, Elena created the Zenergy food truck and immediately started to gain a following throughout South Florida. The truck served raw, vegan, and gluten-free snacks and desserts, smoothies, and organic coffees and teas, keeping an emphasis on distinctive flavors and clean, healthy living.
The Zenergy truck did so well, it eventually caught the attention of Blaise McMackin, owner of the popular Ft. Lauderdale watering hole Tap 42, who quickly became a fan and regular. Together, along with her life partner and raw food chef Charles Grippo, the team came up with the concept for Green Bar & Kitchen, a cafe that would meet the growing demand they saw for alternative food options in Ft. Lauderdale.
"We did this for the community," said Pezzo. "And they have been responding really nicely. Everyone wants clean food; everyone wants to eat real food."
The craft beer offerings at Green Bar & Kitchen
All of the menu offerings at Green Bar are GMO-free, in-season and from local vendors. The cafe-sized space, with an occupancy of about 50 and a patio with outdoor seating, is split between a dining area and a health food market with various superfoods and organic wine and craft beer offerings.