Your childhood kitchen is opening in Times Square.
Celebrate your independence from only being allowed to eat cereal for breakfast on July 4, when Kellogg’s opens an all-day cereal cafe at 1600 Broadway. To make Kellogg’s NYC happen, they’ve recruited no less than former Jean-Georges and Per Se front-of-house veteran Anthony Rudolf for the ambiance, and Momofuku Milk Bar’s dessert maestro Christina Tosi to create some new twists on your favorite cereals.
“The main feeling is timeless, that it wasn’t linked to an era,” Rudolf says of the cafe’s design, which is all white with a mosaic tile floor. “Kellogg’s is 110 years old, so you have decades of nostalgia to draw from.” Instead of a brand-driven nostalgia though, Rudolf says the goal was to make it more personal by reminding people of sitting down to breakfast in their home.
The food has gotten some modern upgrades though. The company sought out Tosi for her ability to elevate simple things like birthday cake into a more sophisticated item without losing the fun (like her famous birthday truffle, in case you’ve missed it somehow). For Kellogg’s NYC, she’s created specialty bowls ($6.50 small, $7.50 regular) that pair classic cereals with fresh and modern ingredients like the The Circus (Raisin Bran, toasted peanuts, banana chips) and Berry Me in Green Tea (Rice Krispies, fresh strawberries, green tea powder) with a choice of milks or yogurt. There’s also a Raid the Pantry option to combine as many cereals as you want in a bowl ($3.50/$4.50) and any of 30 toppings ($1.50 each) like coffee grounds and Pop Tart crumble, if you like some breakfast inception action.
If you prefer a frozen treat for the warm weather (look for new fruits and spices as the seasons change), Tosi has created four sundaes too, with Blue Marble soft serve as the base and combos like Froot Loops, marshmallows, lime zest and passion fruit jam ($8.50/$9.50).
A lot of ritual goes into cereal. Do you pour out a bowlful all at once, or in phases to keep every bite crunchy? Pour the milk in first or over the top? For Rudolf, the crucial detail to get right was the cafe's spoon. They went through more than 50 disposable spoons before settling on a deep boullion spoon. “We think it’s the best on the market for what we’re doing. It’s not great,” he says, longing for a custom design of his own, though he’s “pretty happy” for now.
Though you order from a cashier, the bowls arrive via an automat, a fun touch that’s meant to evoke opening a kitchen cabinet at home to reach for a box of cereal. “At quick service restaurants, the delivery mechanism is always lacking,” says Rudolf. “From an experiential standpoint, it allows us to do a whole surprise-and-delight thing.”
Speaking of surprises, Kellogg’s hasn’t forgotten the (second) best part of a box of cereal. Look out for actual prizes like theater tickets, Uber credits, gift cards and more with your meal — no digging required.