They don’t serve the traditional vegan food at Slutty Vegan Brooklyn. The newest location in Pinky Cole‘s growing, uber-popular vegan burger chain is now serving the sandwiches, appetizers, entrees and desserts that have delighted taste buds around the country, including those of stars like Tyler Perry, Viola Davis and more. Come to the corner of Fulton St. and South Portland Ave to this vegans-gone-wild eatery and grub up, experience the plant-based nirvana and see for yourself. Then don’t be surprised if you join the “Slutty” revolution.
ESSENCE had the chance to be present for the grand opening, and to speak with Cole and general manager DeVaughn Clarke about what they’re bringing to Brooklyn. Here’s what they had to say in between all of the excitement of this weekend’s launch, which was quite the party.
ESSENCE: Welcome to New York, Pinky! You started Slutty Vegan with a food truck in Atlanta, it grew into brick-and-mortar restaurants across Georgia, then in Birmingham and now NYC. Why here?
Pinky Cole: I owned Pinky’s Jamaican & American Restaurant in Harlem before, so I know the city. New York has an essence that does not exist anywhere else. I knew that the Brooklyn community needed a Slutty Vegan for the energy we can offer. I knew the right vibe in the heart of this borough would work. We put it together and now this is so crazy. It feels like a concert is about to happen!
What did the closure of your Harlem place, which burned down in 2016, teach you?
Pinky: It taught me how to have tough, thick skin and to understand that the end is never the end. Things always get better. Like New Yorkers. New Yorkers are resilient and find solutions to problems every single day. So do I. I think they’ll embrace Slutty Vegan.
What’s a good reason for New Yorkers to try plant-based cuisine?
Pinky: I can’t tell you to be a vegan or a non-vegan. But I can tell you that adding healthy options to your lifestyle is a good thing. Especially if it means going off the beaten path and trying our vegan comfort food.
What distinguishes SV from other vegan restaurants and what’s the goal?
Pinky: The element of surprise and Hip-Hop flavor! Slutty Vegan is like a rapper going on tour and dropping albums here and there. That’s how I feel about this grand opening. It’s like I’m dropping a new record. I have notoriety in this way. I’m being called a “celebrity” for having restaurants that little kids around the world can aspire to have. I’m showing people that you can literally do and be anything you want to be. I have a collaboration with a beauty company, I’m doing cookbooks…disrupt the industry and grow.
What appetizers, entrees and desserts do you recommend for first-timers?
Pinky: The pickled fries are amazing! You gotta try the popular One Night Stand sandwich—people go crazy! It’s a plant-based patty loaded with vegan bacon, vegan cheese, caramelized onions, lettuce, tomato, and our Slut Sauce on a vegan Hawaiian bun. For dessert, go for our world-famous sweet potato pie.
What are the wildest items on the menu? Customers will love the funny names.
Pinky: Yes! Everything on my menu is wild! Sloppy Toppy™, Ménage a Trois™, Side Heaux™, Fussy Hussy™. The names sound crazy, and the food is great!
What drink or beverage should customers devour?
Pinky: We have the best strawberry lemonade in the country!
DeVaughn, what atmosphere can people expect at this Brooklyn location?
DeVaughn: It will be a real “Slutty” experience, like the first one in Atlanta. Great customer service, big energy. Our southern hospitality is coming here.
Do folks dine in or take out, and what’s next?
DeVaughn: It’s all takeout and you can order delivery with our fast-casual menu. We want this to be a real come and go experience—like the original SV on Ralph David Abernathy Blvd in Southwest Atlanta. We have four more in the books coming within the next year. A second will come to New York very soon.
Any plans for working with the local community like you did in Atlanta?
Pinky: I want to find out what the problems are and help. In Atlanta I gave Black men who made less than $30,000 per year life insurance. (Note: She also gave $10,000 scholarships and jobs to 30 formerly incarcerated youth and gifted Clark Atlanta University grads with LLCs during a commencement speech.) It’s just been a whirlwind of love and I like to give back to people.
Cole and her Brooklyn-based Slutty Vegan will show New Yorkers a lot of love as the establishment brings bangin’ “plant-based” food to Brooklyn. New York, it’s time to get your “Slutty” on.
Images by Dwight Brown