Detroit Vegan Soul Opens in Fast-Food Dominated Area

The second location of beloved plant-based food restaurant will sit in the middle of an area overrun by White Castle, McDonald’s, and Little Caesar’s.


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Vegan restaurant Detroit Vegan Soul (DVS) will expand to a second location in the Grandmont-Rosedale neighborhood of Detroit on July 22. Owners Kirsten Ussery and Erika Boyd opened the restaurant’s flagship location in the West Village neighborhood in 2013 with the mission of serving healthier food to their community. The new 1,200-square-foot restaurant will provide seating for 36 guests and inhabit a location surrounded by fast-food chains such as White Castle, McDonald’s, and Little Caesar’s. “Part of our mission is to help people live healthier lives, and in this community, they currently do not have any place where people who live here can sit down and have a meal. It’s all take-out. It’s all fast-food, so they needed a healthy option,” Ussery told local news outlet The Detroit News. Those options include “Catfish” Tofu, Seitan Pepper Steak, and mac ‘n cheese—a dish praised by regular patron and animal activist Gary Yourofsky for being “to die for … especially because no one had to die for it.” DVS’ new location is partially funded by a $60,000 grant issued by Motor City Match which allowed Ussery and Boyd to purchase the building outright. In Detroit’s Ferndale neighborhood, cardiologist Joel Kahn, MD operates another vegan restaurant, GreenSpace Café, which he opened with his son Daniel in 2015. “It is great to see them expanding,” Kahn said of DVS’ second location. “The more the merrier to give people choices across the city and state.”