Soon vegans will have another option in Evanston to expand their limited diet.
Brandon Byxbe, who created the “Amazing Kale burger,” is planning to an open an Evanston restaurant in November. The Amazing Kale Burger Lunch Counter will be located at 741 Howard St. and will feature Kale burgers, which contain no meat, soy or gluten.
The majority of food served will be vegan, but Byxbe said some options may contain eggs. The location will have between 15 and 20 seats and will likely be open during lunch hours between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Byxbe said he decided to open a storefront after receiving overwhelming support for his food at the city’s Logan Square Farmer’s Market.
“This season was really successful,” Byxbe said. “I was looking around, I knew I had to move and a factory just sounded kind of boring so I figured I’d just open a restaurant.”
Byxbe said he chose the Evanston location due to its proximity to his home in Rogers Park. He hopes the restaurant will add a different kind of cuisine to the area, he said.
“I personally want people to start eating better,” Byxbe said. “Now I’m just giving them the option to pick it, especially on that strip right there … for the most part, it’s all deep fried and meat-based, so I just wanted to switch it up.”
The process of opening the storefront has been running smoothly, Byxbe said.
To open the restaurant, Byxbe is hoping to raise $5,000 by Oct. 14 through an online Kickstarter campaign. He plans to use the funds to purchase a large steam kettle and a commercial oven. As of Wednesday evening, the campaign had raised more than $3,600 and had 79 backers. To spread the word, Byxbe said he is reaching out to friends and family and posting on social media.
At the restaurant, Byxbe plans to serve as the main cook, but will likely hire a few other employees to help out.
In addition to the lunch counter, The Kale Burger can also be found in grocery stores, such as True Nature Foods and Plenty Grocery and Deli, and on the menus of multiple restaurants in the Chicago area, including the Peckish Pig, Towbar and The Dog Joint.
“I’m going to continue to get them on other restaurant menus and in some grocery stores but definitely have like a home base where I can serve them myself from,” Byxbe said.
Janek Evans of Peckish Pig said since they added the burger to their menu, customers have given positive feedback.
“It’s been doing really fantastic,” Evans said. “Most of the time people get it, they really like it.”
Byxbe said his main goal with the new lunch counter is to provide healthy options to the community.
“Everyone’s so unhealthy right now. No one feels good, everyone’s working too hard. They’re all stressed out,” he said. “I’m just trying to give people another option. I just want everyone to eat better.”
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