Ruminations of a Taco-Obsessed Philly Native

Nathaniel Ru is an entrepreneur and the co-founder of SweetGreen. This is an American fast casual food restaurant that works to serve simple, seasonal, and healthy foods to its customers. The restaurant chain was incepted in August 2007 by Nathaniel Ru, Jonathan Neman, and Nicholas Jammet. They did this after graduating from Georgetown University. The company has grown from a small local food court to a 64 store operation restaurants in the United States. The founding of the fast casual food restaurant was focused on the need to provide sustainability, quality, and local sourcing.


Sweetgreen’s first location was in Georgetown. It has now expanded to more than 27 locations in over five states. The original idea was born out of the need to provide the local community with fresh, delicious, and healthy food. Nathaniel Ru and his friends noticed a difficulty in finding healthy places that would be fun and easy to eat from through their senior year at Georgetown University. They started implementing their idea by renting a 560 square room in Georgetown.


Nathaniel called the landlady of the tavern and explained what they wanted to do. She did not respond positively and rather hung up the phone. They continued calling her each day for a month before she agreed to meet them. They presented the idea in a three-page business plan. The landlady saw potential in the three and told them to find an architect, a real business plan, and some people to support the business. They found an architect and some supporters within three weeks. Ther landlady agreed to help them despite the fact that they did not have experience in restaurants.


Sweetgreen has continued to serve fresh and healthy farm-to-table food. It sources its ingredients from local suppliers. Sweetgreen markets itself as a social and great place to hang out as you enjoy your food. Nathaniel and his friends came up with five values that would help them in decision making. The first value was the “win, win, win,” where they would make sure that any decision made should not only be a victory for one but a victory for all stakeholders from customers, community, and the organization itself.

Sweetgreen realized a connection between food and music in its marketing strategy. The company started a music and food festival that now attracts over 20,000 people each year. The festival also promotes local farmers through its marketing potential.



Finding the perfect spot to host an event can be a bit challenging, especially with all the options. Deciding if a private room has enough space of if the décor suits the function or if the chef’s style fits the food and drink ideas can all be confusing. What helps is getting priorities in order before starting on that dreaded search, so it is easier to spot a venue that meets them. The following are some great restaurant private rooms in New York City that offer a milieu to work with, top of the line services, and delicious food from first-class chefs, which are all venues suitable for any occasions.

Charlie Bird

The restaurant on 5 King St. Soho is renowned for its Italian-American cuisine. When looking for a place that gives an authentic taste of homemade spaghetti, this is it, and children, in particular, love it a lot. Tantalize taste buds with chicken that is roasted to perfection or oysters, which are the house’s specialty. The wine collection is also really good, making it a perfect venue for evening events. Besides the meals, there is a private room that can hold an intimate gathering of about 14 that provides an atmosphere that is relaxing and laid back. Even with its informal feel, an organizer can count on a first-rate service. The music at Charlie Bird is simply unsurpassed.

American Cut

If an event organizer is going for that classic steakhouse feel that offers just enough formality to keep business meetings serious without being stuffy, then the private room at the American Cut will do quite nicely. The old-school steakhouse is arguably one of the best places to get a steak. Combined with an out-of-this-world Caesar salad, shrimp cocktails, oysters, and crab cakes, it is easy to make a promotion dinner one to remember. The private room comes with mood lighting that sets an intimate and relaxing tone. Additionally, it is so large it feels like a restaurant in itself.


Tarallucci e Vino


Tarallucci e Vino gives two options at their Union Square location when in need of private events. The loft on the Sixth Floor offers a spacious venue that can hold 120 standing guests and 60 who are seated. The courtyard view from the loft adds to the artistic ambiance created by the antique chandeliers and vintage mirrors that line the room. The room can transform to suit any event with a few extra decor touches. With the custom-made tables, the space has an elegant feel, which is in addition to the fact that it comes furnished with a lounge area and bar.


The Mezzanine private room is only slightly smaller than the Sixth Floor Loft and is adorned with plush couches that would be ideal for a semi-formal function. The reclaimed wood décor combined with the exposed brick and cool color tones gives a rustic ambiance that entices occupants to let loose a little. It can comfortably host 45 seated guests or 80 standing. With Chef Ricardo Bilotta present to give guests a blend of Italian dishes, counting on a successful event is a possibility.