Lilah Belle's, the prepared-food delivery service, has sold their Divisadero retail space to competitor Square Meals. Hoodline reports that owner Traci Freeman has decided to shift to an online-only retail operation, after determining that her customers "prefer having their orders dropped off during the week," rather than making a special trip to the physical store. She says their business model, which prepares health-conscious, organic meals, will remain the same, adding that she is "most excited about our convenient online ordering" and a reduction in the chef service and delivery fee.
Meanwhile, Square Meals is planning a quick turnaround of the space, opening a "pop-up" version of their prepared-meals business on March 17. (They already have a brick-and-mortar on Polk.) Chef-owner Alison Mountford says that the new spot will offer healthy, prepared meals for take-out and delivery, followed by a full café mirroring the one on Polk in the coming months. They hope to open the café portion of the space for breakfast, lunch and dinner by early summer, after a few tweaks to the plumbing and interior.
Though their business models are slightly different (Square Meals intends to open a cafe in addition to take-out and delivery), it will be interesting to see how the neighborhood responds to the switcheroo. While Lilah Belle's has many loyal delivery fans, Mountford says she's confident that the grab-and-go model will capture a significant portion of business in the neighborhood; rumors of a planned Google bus stop in the neighborhood also bode well for pre-prepared meals and morning coffee service.
For a preview of Square Meals' offerings, locals are encouraged to stop by the space for an opening party on Thursday, April 2, from 5-7 p.m.; Mountford will serve appetizers, samples and champagne.
Until the official retail launch, Square Meals will offer lunch and dinner to go Monday through Friday from 11 a.m.-8 p.m., starting March 17.