All-vegan American-inspired diner Grumpy Panda is set to open Tuesday in Gateshead, England. During the previous four years, proprietors Beth and Phil Towers—who conceived the diner’s concept during a road trip across California, Arizona, Utah, and Nevada—gained a following by hosting regional pop-ups and local catering gigs. The diner will serve American-style dishes such as pancakes, waffles, hot dogs, sandwiches, and burgers. “It’s not grass and beans and lentils!” Phil said when describing the diner’s comfort food menu. To further set the tone, Grumpy Panda will play music from American artists such as Shania Twain and Whitesnake and will be decorated with license plates the couple gathered on their 2,500-mile American road trip. The duo will also host an American-style eating challenge they call “Release the Kraken” in which guests are encouraged to consume a number of menu items in less than 15 minutes. Several United Kingdom-based establishments opened this year with the goal of breaking the stereotype that vegan food is nothing but green juice and granola, including vegan fried chicken shop Hail Seitan and late-night kebab shop What the Pitta.
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