Bar Vegan bringing ‘bar theater’ to Ponce City Market this weekend

Bar Vegan comes from the owner of plant-based burger eatery Slutty Vegan
Texas Margarita from Bar Vegan. / Courtesy of Madelynne Ross

Texas Margarita from Bar Vegan. / Courtesy of Madelynne Ross

Pinky Cole, the owner of growing plant-based burger empire Slutty Vegan, is branching out this weekend with a new concept at Ponce City Market.

Announced late last year, Bar Vegan will open Feb. 28 and will be a full-service restaurant and bar focused on “bar theater,” according to a press release. “a fun, high energy atmosphere with exciting and exotic visual presentations of food and drink.”

A grand opening celebration from 1-6 p.m. on Sunday will give customers the chance to try bites and cocktails.

Vegan bar food offerings will include sandwiches, salads, egg rolls, cauliflower wings, mushroom cheesesteaks, sweet potato tater tots and “spins on Slutty Vegan favorites.”

Pinky Cole, founder and owner of Bar Vegan and Slutty Vegan. / Courtesy of Bar Vegan

Credit: Sterling Pics

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Credit: Sterling Pics

Bar Vegan will focus heavily on its beverage program, with beer, wine and “experience cocktails” made tableside. The Foreign Fruit Punch will be served in an active smoking volcano, with other drinks served in a fire extinguisher, gas can, Ferris wheel or bank safe, along with musical sound bites.

The beverage team will also serve adapted versions of classic cocktails including margaritas, Cosmopolitans, Old Fashioneds and lemon martinis, all made with organic juices. A “Shaken Not Slurred’' mocktail menu will also be available.

Designed by Johnson Studio at Cooper Cary, Bar Vegan’s vibe will be “poppy and trendy.” A private dining space will also be available for rent.

“Bar Vegan’s aim is to create an enjoyable experience for those who want to eat well and enjoy a bit of fun and flare, while still maintaining the vegan lifestyle,” Cole said in a prepared statement.

Located on the second floor of Ponce City Market’s Central Food Hall in a space that was previously home to the now-shuttered Mercury, Bar Vegan will be open for lunch at the bar, dinner and Sunday brunch.

Planned COVID-19 protocol includes cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting surfaces and prohibiting sick employees in the workplace. Bar Vegan will also require employees to wear masks at all times and customers to wear masks when they’re not seated at their tables.

The news comes during a time of rapid expansion for Cole, who opened a Slutty Vegan open in Old Fourth Ward in October and a location in Jonesboro in July. A Slutty Vegan location is also planned for Birmingham, Alabama.

Pineapple margarita from Bar Vegan. / Courtesy of Madelynne Ross

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Slutty Vegan opened its brick-and-mortar location in the West End neighborhood in early 2019 after operating for several months as a mobile food truck.

The restaurant quickly drew lines snaking down the block, offering a plant-based burger and fries menu with suggestive concoctions like the Ménage à Trois, a vegan patty loaded with vegan bacon and shrimp, and a messy mix of lettuce, tomato and special sauce.

Slutty Vegan also quickly became a fan of high-profile figures, including Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, Tyler Perry, Tamar Braxton, actress Taraji P. Henson, Da Brat and T.I.

Cole has been involved in several community initiatives through her Pinky Cole Foundation, including bringing Slutty Vegan burgers to National Church Residences senior care facility, offering jobs to juvenile offenders and paying the tuition of 30 Clark Atlanta University students.

Bar Vegan is the latest announced planned opening in Ponce City Market, which is owned by Jamestown LP and is working on expanding its Central Food Hall by reworking former office and retail space to provide around 2,000 square-feet, including four kiosks and a bar. The expansion proposal calls for adding half a million square feet of new development and amenities to the existing two million square feet.

Salad chain Sweetgreen is slated to open its first Atlanta location inside the food hall in 2021, and tea shop Eleven TLC opened earlier this year.

Bar Vegan will be open 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Mondays-Wednesdays and 11 a.m.-midnight Thursdays-Sundays.

675 Ponce de Leon Ave. NE, Atlanta.

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