Pinky Cole became a social media sensation for her plant-based burgers with creative “slutty” toppings and names, leading rise to a chain of local restaurants dubbed Slutty Vegan. Now, the 33-year-old is expanding her quickly growing empire (three Slutty Vegans and counting, not to mention the original food truck) with the opening of Bar Vegan, a beverage-focused restaurant and bar in Ponce City Market. Scheduled to open February 14, [Editor’s note: the opening was slightly delayed and will now open on February 28], Bar Vegan takes the bold, attention-grabbing, fun, and vegan facets of Cole’s original burger concept and applies them to the bar scene.
The result is what Bar Vegan CFO Aaron Mattison calls “bar theater.” That means being Instagrammable is a key focus of both the design and decor and the menu items offered.
“It’s creating fun, memorable experiences with every drink,” he says.
The “experience cocktails” are made tableside. Examples include the “Grady Baby,” which is served in an IV bag attached to an IV pole alongside a First Aid kit containing additional garnishes. Other drinks might come in a fire extinguisher, Ferris wheel, or a safe, complete with musical soundbites.
Lest you prefer something with less fancy showmanship, Bar Vegan will serve adapted versions of the margarita, cosmopolitan, old fashioned, lemon drop martini, Mai Tai, Tom Collins, and more. Each will be made with organic and fresh-squeezed juices. “Shaken Not Slurred” mocktails will be available, too.
Touted as a family-friendly establishment, Bar Vegan will serve dinner nightly, lunch at the bar, and brunch on Sundays. The menu is comprised of Slutty favorites, along with new sandwiches, salads, and tater tots. Mattison describes it simply as “really good bar food.”
“It’s our first stab at a seated experience. We’re excited about what it looks like and will see how it lands,” Mattison says.
Known for its work on the Garden Room at the St. Regis Atlanta, the Johnson Studio at Cooper Carry is redesigning the Mercury space to reflect the Slutty Vegan brand. It’s divided into a bar/lounge and dining room with a glass-enclosed private room and three “focal walls” created with photo opps in mind.