Courtesy of Impossible Foods

"The future is here."

Charlie Heller
October 04, 2017

New York-based chain Bareburger is currently best known for its wide selection of uncommon meats, but its next restaurant is doing away with it entirely. Announced at this year's Multi-Unit Foodservice Operators Conference (MUFSO) by Bareburger's culinary director Jonathan Lemon, the "concept" restaurant will be entirely vegan, and open by sometime next year.

As more Americans incorporate meatless options into their diet, Bareburger seems to be preparing.  "The future is here and meat will play a smaller role in the years to come,” Lemon told Nation's Restaurant News, adding that “Bareburger is committed to not getting left behind" in the shift.

The New York-based chain already upped the ante earlier this year when it began offering the "bleeding," plant-based Impossible Burger at select locations, and in November, it plans to expand its availability to all its restaurants, both around the country, and the world, in cities including Frankfurt, Tokyo, and Dubai. Though no restaurant name or head chef has been chosen for the new concept, which Lemon hopes will open in five months, it will probably feature the Impossible Burger alongside alternatives that are currently being tested like jackfruit, tempeh, tofu, textured wheat protein and, most futuristic of all, "lab-grown meat."

While no doubt a welcome addition for vegans, Bareburger hopes to target those already eating meat as well. Which is a good idea: according to an NPD study, 70% of American meat eaters are now substituting non-meat protein at least once a week, with 22% saying they do it more than they did the year before.

Whether this leads to, as Lemon speculates, a future where “eating meat will be in some back room parlor" a la prohibition-era alcohol, who can say, but the idea of Bareburger ultimately replacing its lineup of beef, bison, and ostrich with jackfruit, tempeh, and "lab-grown" feels closer than ever before.