NEW VE­GAN CAFE OWN­ERS GIVE LAN­TANA BEACHY VIBE

Own­ers of new ve­gan cafe want to cre­ate a com­mu­nity scene on East Ocean Av­enue.

The Palm Beach Post - - FRONT PAGE - By Julio Po­letti Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

For Grigol Kranz and Eileen O’Toole, new res­i­dents of South Palm Beach, The Cur­rent Cafe was ex­actly what they hoped they would find across the bridge in Lan­tana: a low-key shop with fresh cof­fee and healthy food op­tions.

“We wanted some­thing within walk­ing or bik­ing dis­tance from our home that was lo­cally owned and clean,” said Kranz, on a re­cent day at the tiny, surfer-in­spired cot­tage that houses the cafe. “We think it’s great and just what this area needed.”

The cafe, which opened July 4 on the north­ern edge of East Ocean Av­enue in Lan­tana, serves freshly brewed cof­fee, cold brews, smooth­ies and nat­u­ral en­ergy shots. The place is pop­u­lar for

its ve­gan op­tions, par­tic­u­larly the acai bowls and av­o­cado toast driz­zled with red pep­per olive oil.

In fact, you’ll find no an­i­mal prod­ucts here. Even the honey is made from ap­ple ex­tract, and home­made cashew and al­mond milks are used in smooth­ies and for cof­fee creamer.

The shop is a re­flec­tion of the own­ers’ life­style. Del­ray Beach broth­ers Alex, 25, and Aris­to­tle Prakas, 28, have loved surf­ing since child­hood. For the past three years, they’ve been fol­low­ing a health­ier life­style, prac­tic­ing yoga and eat­ing ve­gan meals.

They have both worked in the restau­rant busi­ness. Alex says his older brother is a hard­work­ing man with a cre­ative mind and great taste for de­sign, a guy who likes to make surf­boards. Mean­while, Aris­to­tle says his lit­tle brother is very com­pas­sion­ate and loves to talk to and work with cus­tomers.

Open­ing the cafe felt like the nat­u­ral thing to do, they say.

“The idea just came with the ne­ces­sity of bring­ing some­thing healthy to town,” said Alex Prakas. “There aren’t a lot of acai bowl op­tions or ve­gan op­tions in Lan­tana. We wanted to take ad­van­tage of that and be the only one in the area.”

But be­fore the Prakas broth­ers se­cured the spot in March — af­ter Good Vibes Lan­tana closed in that lo­ca­tion — they had to com­bine their tal­ents and con­vince the prop­erty’s real es­tate bro­ker: their fa­ther, Tom Prakas, who owns Prakas & Co.

“Once the ten­ant went out, we de­cided it was a good op­por­tu­nity to start a place,” said Aris­to­tle. “This was more fea­si­ble rent-wise than Del­ray, so we jumped right in.”

Once they were able to lock in a con­tract, they started with a fresh paint job, some re­mod­el­ing and wood­work. They painted the wall be­hind the counter a bright teal and painted the other walls and the ex­posed wood-beam ceil­ing a crisp white. They dec­o­rated the in­te­rior with sev­eral surf­boards, made by Aris­to­tle, and other ocean-in­spired items.

There’s some seat­ing in­side the tiny cot­tage, but most of the space is in the front and side of the shop with an eclec­tic mix of ta­bles, lounge chairs and pic­nic ta­bles.

But the broth­ers say they their dreams don’t stop at a cof­fee shop. They want to turn the en­tire lot, which has sev­eral busi­nesses and avail­able spa­ces, into a “beachy” com­mu­nity hub.

“We want to build a com­mu­nity sense rather than just a cafe,” said Alex. “We want to in­cor­po­rate art, surf, mu­sic and live events.”

The broth­ers are work­ing on hav­ing live mu­sic in their pa­tio, of­fer­ing yoga classes and col­lab­o­rat­ing with other lo­cal busi­ness own­ers and artists to bring some life to down­town Lan­tana. They’ve even thought about of­fer­ing wa­ter-sports rentals since the ocean is just a few blocks away. A surf shop with boards made by Aris­to­tle is also in the works.

“We’re su­per ex­cited with cur­rent and fu­ture projects,” said Aris­to­tle. “We’re very pumped with sea­son kick­ing in.”

JULIO PO­LETTI / THE PALM BEACH POST PHO­TOS

Eileen O’Toole and Grigol Kranz, new res­i­dents of South Palm Beach, sip on cold brews at a bench out­side The Cur­rent Cafe in Lan­tana. “We think it’s great and just what this area needed,” Kranz said.

Del­ray Beach broth­ers and own­ers Aris­to­tle (left) and Alex Prakas at The Cur­rent Cafe, which is known for its ve­gan op­tions and brewed cof­fee.

JULIO PO­LETTI / THE PALM BEACH POST

The in­te­rior of The Cur­rent Cafe in Lan­tana, which shows the bright teal wall own­ers Aris­to­tle and Alex Prakas painted and the ex­posed wood-beam ceil­ing. The broth­ers plan to turn the en­tire lot, home to sev­eral busi­nesses and spa­ces, into a “beachy” com­mu­nity hub.

JULIO PO­LETTI / THE PALM BEACH POST

The Bal­samic Driz­zle av­o­cado toast ($9.75) has fresh arugula, toma­toes, salt, pep­per, bal­samic driz­zle and olive oil.

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