Greenwich Look

Spring 2016

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Page 111 of 143

[ ] 112 Younger, hipper, healthier and always relaxed— that's the vibe you feel when you walk into restaurateur Nick Coniglio's Island Bee. With a new generation of Palm Beach residents setting down roots, and a growing population of young families in town, including his own, the restaurant is garnering lots of attention for its menu of juices, kale, quinoa and unique salads. It might seem a bit of a departure for the son of the town's mayor and part-owner of his parents' longstanding restaurant, ER Bradley's Saloon, the town's watering hole, but Coniglio says it's exactly the right move. "It's still very old school in Palm Beach, but you have a good mix and there are people who are wanting to try new things," said Coniglio. Coniglio wasn't going to join the family business at fi rst. When he grad- uated, he moved to Aspen Colo., to become a snowboarding instructor. But when his dad asked him to come home about 14 years ago to open up a restaurant, he returned to Palm Beach. "I thought I'd move back to Colorado, but I've been here ever since," said Coniglio. Turns out, coming home also helped him fi nd his wife, Carissa. He had known her family, the Fanjuls, a longtime Palm Beach family, for many years. She was six years younger though, so it wasn't until she graduated college and started hanging out at the restaurant that they became friends and started dating. "We got married a year after, had three kids in a row and now she helps out with the business, cruises in and out with the kids and it's going to be our seven year anniversary soon." Three years ago, he opened Island Bee with business partner Andrea Pertnoy. "She was a good friend from high school, vegan, super cool chick, married—love her and her family," said Coniglio. "Everyone was going vegan. We decided to give it a try." The restaurant has had such success that last December, they and a third business partner, Lou Hager, opened a second Island Bee location to rave reviews. "People were saying, 'The island needs this.'" said Coniglio. Both Island Bee locations not only have a café but also a market that includes botanical skin care products and raw honey. Each location off ers something a little diff erent (more paninis at one, more tropical fruit juices at the other; guest yoga classes at one, art and jewelry at the other). "It's an artsy feel with local artists, photographers and jewelry," said Coniglio. Plus, with the restaurant's success, the partners are exploring the idea of a third Island Bee location, and possibly an adjacent sandwich shop with a meat selection at the new West Palm location. "Andrea's goal is to educate and change the world one vegetable at a time," said Coniglio. "I love having a vegan and really healthy place, but at the same time, I want to be all inclusive. You might be dating someone who wants fi sh or chicken." No matter what his next endeavor entails, the family man says it will surely include a relaxed welcoming atmosphere and healthy, quality ingredients. "It's all part of the balance of life and fi guring it all out," said Coniglio. "It's the way I live. I have a beautiful wife, a really nice family. You want to make sure you stay healthy for a long time." ISLAND BEE 261 Royal Poinciana Way, Palm Beach, Fla., 561-619-3657;123 Datura Street, West Palm Beach, Fla., 561-651-9796; Nick Coniglio is fi nding Balance at Island Bee Quick look ➤ WELLNESS CHICHI UBIÑA

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