Resilient Ideas: Sunshine On The Menu

Come for the food, stay for the art at New York City's first solar-powered restaurant.
habana outpost

Since it is primarily powered by solar energy, Habana Outpost opens its doors only when the sun is shining.

Photo by Betty Tsang

Since 2005, New York City’s carbon-neutral crowd has been flocking to Habana Outpost, which bills itself as the city’s first solar-powered restaurant. Solar panels shade the patio and bike-powered smoothie maker, providing 40 percent of the restaurant’s energy and protecting guests from sunburn. Stored rainwater flushes the toilets, and the decor is a mix of the artistic, the improvised, and the salvaged—a picnic table is made of used soda bottles; some doors came from a Latin American monastery.

Come for the food, but stay for the arts. In addition to monthly installations, there are fashion shows, a weekend outdoor market where artisans sell their wares, and the adjoining Lowpost, a space for live performances, movie screenings, and community group meetings.

As you might expect from a restaurant featuring outdoor seating, Habana Outpost is only open when the sun shines, that is, the six-month stretch between Earth Day and Halloween.


Ari LeVeaux wrote this article for A Resilient Community, the Fall 2010 issue of YES! Magazine.


More Resilient Ideas

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A Hand-Built Home
  Low-Impact Urban Living
  Bike As You Are
  Return of the Mercantile
  Processing Food Where the Food Is
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Beekeeping on City Rooftops
  Reclaim, Repair, Rebuild
  Making Fruit Public
  Get Off the Grid
  Sunshine on the Menu


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