On a Wednesday afternoon, hordes of keen Brooklynites lined up alongside busy Fulton Street in the center of Fort Greene. The daring cry of “We’ve got a virgin in the building!” could possibly be heard, time and again, up and down the block.
“I want a One Night Stand,” one lady uttered to her girlfriend, who was there for a Hollywood Hooker. A girl in a hot-pink blazer exited the constructing, muttering to herself, “I’ve never been called a slut in my life!” An 8-year-old boy turned to his mother, and requested, “What’s a slut?”
Welcome to Slutty Vegan — not a cruelty-free strip membership, however quite, a provocative, plant-based quick meals idea that simply opened its first New York location. Customers — a ok a “sluts” — order up attractive, cheekily named veggie takes on burgers, cheese steak, sizzling canine and hen fingers.
The impudent chain was launched in Atlanta in 2018 by founder Pinky Cole, a one-time Harlem restaurateur who started with the aim of reimagining how folks view vegan meals, wrapping it up in a playful, risqué bow.
Now, the 4-year-old idea has seven areas and counting and is valued at $100 million, with Danny Meyer’s Enlightened Hospitality Investments amongst its supporters. Amidst her success, Cole has given again, creating the Pinky Cole Foundation to help entrepreneurs of coloration.
At the Brooklyn outpost, stroller mothers, fits and artwork college students are lining up for a style. Even Mayor Eric Adams, who has adopted a largely plant-based food plan since 2016, welcomed Slutty Vegan with a video message, saying: “It was about time you brought your vegan burgers here to the greatest city in the world.”
But the identify of the restaurant, to not point out the menu objects — banana pudding is served in a paper cup baring the identify Happy Ending, whereas the Ménage à Trois, a burger loaded with vegan bacon, shrimp, cheese and the home’s signature Slut Sauce is a scorching sizzling vendor — has proved to be a sticking level for native mother and father. Brooklyn mothers and dads are desirous to help a black-owned business and have tasty plant-based fare in the neighborhood, however they’re not loving the brazen branding.
“I had to explain ‘what does slutty mean’ in 7-year-old language, and that was difficult, so I’m not really thrilled about that,” stated Alice Dietz, 50, ready in line to purchase her vegan son Teddy, 7, a faux-cheeseburger youngsters meal.
“Whatever makes people think about vegan food and whatever makes people interested [is good],” the Crown Heights resident, who has been a vegan since age 15, stated. “But as a mom, I kind of wish it wasn’t called that.”
As she spoke, Teddy pestered her with extra questions concerning the restaurant’s moniker.
“It’s a controversial name that people call a girl,” she stated patiently to her son. “It’s very offensive. Mommy doesn’t like it, and you should never say it. It’s a girl who goes on dates with maybe more than one — with lots of different boys or girls.”
Others aren’t bothered by all of the innuendo.
Massah Fofana, 52, an artist primarily based in Flatbush and a vegan for 26 years, was desirous to convey in her 8-year-old granddaughter, Queen, for an after-school deal with after studying about Slutty Vegan. The duo loved a One Night Stand burger (with vegan bacon, cheese and caramelized onions) and a Fussy Hussy (vegan cheese, onions and pickle).
“I never explained [the name] to her,” Fofana instructed The Post. “I just [asked her], ‘Hey, you want to go to Slutty Vegan?’ I said, ‘It’s the dopest thing right now,’ so that’s all she cares about. I love that it’s more modern; it’s not just salad on your plate, vegetables on your plate. I love the name.”
Meanwhile, two college-aged women longing for burgers stated they felt empowered by the branding, guffawing when one of many feminine staff shouted “Order up, slut!” to a grown man ready for his dinner.
Pinky Cole just isn’t the primary restaurateur to appreciate that intercourse sells. Eggslut, a Los Angeles-based breakfast-sandwich idea with lengthy strains, now has retailers in Las Vegas, London and all throughout Asia, whereas grownup bakery Sugar Wood opened in Manhattan in July, serving up penis-shaped waffles. And hookup tradition impressed the now-closed Harlem Mexican restaurant, Sexy Taco Dirty Cash, in 2016, that includes a picture of a lady straddling a taco.
Still, some Brooklyn mother and father are steering clear — even when they could be curious concerning the meals and enthusiastic about plant-based choices.
“I would feel fine picking up food and bringing it home to them,” confessed one Park Slope mother of two, “but I would not feel comfortable bringing [my kids there], where they would be bombarded with these kinds of messages about women and sex.”