BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Birmingham meat-shunners, rejoice. One day soon you’ll be able to stop ignoring your fast food burger cravings.
Slutty Vegan, an Atlanta-based vegan burger joint, is coming to Birmingham’s Woodlawn community. Mayor Randall Woodfin confirmed the news Wednesday in a video posted to Facebook of the restaurant’s ribbon cutting ceremony. The shop will reside in Woodlawn’s historic downtown area at 55th Place.
Slutty Vegan founder and CEO Pinky Cole purchased the building from REV Birmingham, a location-based nonprofit focused an economic development and revitalization.
“On behalf of REV Birmingham, we’re happy to sell you this building so that you can be a part of Birmingham, own your piece of Alabama, and keep going with what you’re doing,” said David Fleming, president and CEO of REV Birmingham, at the ribbon cutting.
Slutty Vegan’s Woodlawn location is the restaurant’s first brick-and-mortar shop outside of Georgia. There are two Atlanta-based locations (with one more on the way) and another in Jonesboro, Georgia, which celebrated “Pinky Cole Day” this past July.
“I am excited to expand Slutty Vegan outside of Atlanta and into the Woodlawn Community of Birmingham. The Woodlawn area is a culturally rich neighborhood that reminded me of my very first location in the West End of ATL. We specifically wanted to go into food deserts and locations right in the middle of economic and community revitalization,” Pinky Cole said. “It feels good to be a black woman in business right now. We are representing black excellence and will continue to do so as we bring Slutty Vegan to Birmingham.”
The chain operates two food trucks, one of which recently visited Birmingham’s Crossplex as part of a national pop-up tour.
“We think it’s safe to say Birmingham, Alabama has THEE longest Slutty Vegan tour line we’ve ever seen,” the restaurant posted on Instagram during their visit to the Magic City. Slutty Vegan boasts an Instagram audience of over 412,000 followers.
The most popular of the restaurant’s 100% plant-based burgers is the “One Night Stand,” a patty loaded with vegan bacon, vegan cheese, caramelized onions, lettuce, tomato and “slutty sauce” on a vegan Hawaiian bun. It’s a favorite of former Miami Heat NBA star Dwayne Wade—one of the many celebrities the restaurant has “sluttified.”
In its October-November issue, Entrepreneur Magazine included Cole, 33, in its list of top “100 powerful women.” Cole, a Jamaican-American restauranteur, operates the nonprofit “Pinky Cole Foundation,” which offers financial literacy and educational programs “for black economic progress.”
“At Woodlawn Foundation, our residents lead and guide the work. So, after hearing about Slutty Vegan’s business model from Woodlawn residents J.T. and Alycia Moore, I knew I wanted them in Woodlawn,” said Mashonda Taylor, executive director of the Woodlawn Foundation. “Their commitment to the people in the communities they serve made them a perfect fit for the Woodlawn community. Slutty Vegan may have chosen Birmingham, but the Woodlawn community also chose Slutty Vegan.”
Slutty Vegan is looking to expand over the next year and a half to a total of 13 locations.
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