First Vegan Social Justice Bar Opened This Week!
The BLOCK OFF Biltmore (TBob), the first vegan bar and restaurant focused on social justice, has officially opened its doors in Asheville, North Carolina!
While TBob is inspired by Busboys and Poets, a bar chain in Washington DC dedicated to social change, as they are not a vegan chain, TBob’s addition gives them a unique and more inclusive edge.
TBob is located in the Young Men’s Institute (YMI), one of the oldest African American cultural centres in the United States. Cam MacQueen, TBob owner, explains how the venue keeps the important history of the YMI alive:
“We want to be a multicultural community living room. We’ll be doing lots of live music, spoken word, we’ll have ongoing art exhibits and receptions for the artists, documentary screenings, wine tastings. Plus we’ll be highlighting vegan food and busking for bites — basically food by donation. We’ll partner with a local nonprofit and a jazz trio will perform. The nonprofit’s rep will say a few words about the group’s mission and goals and we’ll give them a percentage of that night’s bar take.”
All options on the menu will be vegan, gluten-free, GMO-free and organic. The food system will be based on “busking”, which is based on performing a service (in this case cooking) for donations. All the food will be themed around soul-food, and while it will start out as basic “bar food”, MacQueen hopes to soon expand that with vegan mac and cheese, BBQ tofu twists, and more. TBob will also feature a wide range of local and vegan beers. When asked why TBob felt the need to combine veganism with social justice, MacQueen stated:
“The vegan part is very much a social justice issue. It’s a social justice level on many fronts — for the planet, for the animals, for our health, for starving people, for food scarcity. Resource depletion of every kind, whether it’s water, or climate change, or the rain forest, is directly impacted by animal-based agriculture, and we know that thanks to the UN report that came out in 2008. Animal agriculture causes more greenhouse gas emissions than all vehicles combined.”
Although TBob has just recently opened up, it already seems to be a place that is full of history, with a special commitment and dedication to the future, with ethically sourced food and drinks, and with a wide range of events in an inclusive and welcoming atmosphere. What more could you ask for?
Photo Credit: https://mountainx.com