Applebee's Building Greenest Restaurant in New York

Staff Writer
Waterless urinals, rooftop rainwater, and more abound at the latest development from Applebee's

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

Applebee's may not have reached cult Olive Garden status, but it's safe to say the neighborhood grill isn't particularly hip. But the brand is upping its metro cool factor  by opening an eco-friendly restaurant in East Harlem on Dec. 10, complete with a wall of plants and LED lights.

The New York Post reports that the green Applebee's, which cost $4 million to build, will be the first restaurant in New York City to get a gold Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification, and all for just $1 million more than what a conventional Applebee's costs.

Rooftop rainwater harvesting, LED lights, energy-efficient appliances that use 1/3 less gas, and two "waterless" urinals to save about 40,000 gallons of water a year are built into the restaurant. And while waterless urinals might sound a bit unsanitary (but hey, what do we know), the harvested rooftop rainwater will be used for toilets that still need flushing.

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Surprisingly, there haven't been reports of a rooftop garden (the roof will be painted white to keep the building cool during the summer), but an indoor "living wall" of plants might just be the place for an herb garden. Perhaps the menu will be a bit greener, as well?