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One of the country’s most popular vegan burger restaurants is expanding fast. Atlanta-based Slutty Vegan reportedly expects to open a fourth brick-and-mortar location soon – and bring three additional locations by the end of 2021.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the fourth Slutty Vegan will open in the suburb community of Duluth, Georgia “in the next few weeks,” to be followed by outposts in Athens, Georgia, Columbus, Georgia, and Birmingham, Alabama over the coming months.
It’s been a year of rapid expansion and huge visibility for founder Pinky Cole’s brand, which began as a food truck only in late 2018. Already this year, Slutty Vegan has collaborated on a special burger for national chain Shake Shack, popped up in Marcus Samuelsson’s docu-series You Have to Taste This, and debuted a cocktail lounge concept, Bar Vegan.
Cole’s messy, drippy, toppings-laden burgers with cheeky names (One Night Stand, Fussy Hussy, Heaux Boy, etc) have inspired a rapturous fandom and massive social media following – and even attracted some celeb supporters like Taraji P. Henson, Tyler Perry, Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, and Senator Jon Ossoff. Burger-lovers have been known to line up wrapping around the block from Slutty Vegan pop-ups or post up in lawn chairs to wait for hours before restaurant doors open.
When a Forbes writer asked a friend what inspired her to wait seven hours to place an order shortly after the first Slutty Vegan restaurant opened in 2019, she replied that she felt compelled to be “part of the exclusive club of people that had been ‘slulttified.'” After taking a bite, she realized there was something even bigger than an Insta-ready food trend going on. “Slutty Vegan proved how attainable and accessible veganism is and that it actually could be for someone like me,” she said.
That’s all part of Cole’s plan. She hopes her delicious, fun – even slightly provocative – burger concept will inspire more people to embrace plant-based eating.
“Coming to Atlanta, being a vegan, not being able to have the options I wanted, I wanted to make something fun for people like me,” Cole told the Journal-Constitution. “And for people who aren’t vegans, who just wanted to have something good, I wanted to break down all those stigmas about what being a vegan and plant-based is.”