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 Post subject: the Save Kate's campaign
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 4:21 pm 
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this came as news to me: http://www.indiegogo.com/savekatesjoint


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 Post subject: Re: the Save Kate's campaign
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 7:13 pm 
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oh no!

not even $1,000 of the required $30k raised with only 11 days to go... not looking so hopeful :(

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 Post subject: Re: the Save Kate's campaign
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 9:26 am 
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from the WSJ, on Kate's and the broader issue of veggie spots in the EV.

Quote:
The owner of Kate's Joint has tried everything she can think of to stay afloat, from the mundane (adding a bar) to the desperate (soliciting donations online). But the East Village's favorite vegetarian greasy spoon may now do the unthinkable: It may add meat to the menu.

"I hate to admit it, but put bacon on it, and they will come," said Kate Halpern, who opened the restaurant on Avenue B in 1996.


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 Post subject: Re: the Save Kate's campaign
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 9:48 am 
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Quote:
"I hate to admit it, but put bacon on it, and they will come," said Kate Halpern, who opened the restaurant on Avenue B in 1996.

gah. i'm conflicted about this - is it worse for a veg place to serve meat to try to stay afloat, or for it to just go under?

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 Post subject: Re: the Save Kate's campaign
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 9:51 am 
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JillW wrote:
from the WSJ, on Kate's and the broader issue of veggie spots in the EV.

Quote:
The owner of Kate's Joint has tried everything she can think of to stay afloat, from the mundane (adding a bar) to the desperate (soliciting donations online). But the East Village's favorite vegetarian greasy spoon may now do the unthinkable: It may add meat to the menu.

"I hate to admit it, but put bacon on it, and they will come," said Kate Halpern, who opened the restaurant on Avenue B in 1996.


I didn't want to say anything before because I felt bad....but this doesn't surprise me. I remember going to Kate's in 1998 or so, and it was awesome! Somewhere along the line it went downhill though. The last few times I went there (several years ago) it was not good, so I just never went back. I guess it was mostly because their soy cheese wasn't vegan, so most of the menu wasn't even good for vegans. I didn't like how they changed the decor either. It just really seemed like they moved away from their original roots, to try to cater to the market, but not in a good way.

I looked at the menu online when I saw this post the other day and it seemed like they had vegan cheeze now, so I didn't say anything. But considering how I already felt like the menu over the years changed , it doesn't surprise me now she's saying go to meat.

On the one hand, I feel bad because if that article is right, local "heritage" (whatever that means) meat is the new hipster thing. And with rents so high in that area, it must be really tough to survive. Yet, it seems like Angelika kitchen who hasn't compromised their food all along is still going...so it seems to me the right path is just to make the vegan food better, not compromise.

Again, I really don't know, I'm not in this business. But as a vegan consumer, it definitely puts me off to see a place I used to like cater more to non-vegans. It was the same thing with Counter- they got rid of my favorite things on the menu like the macademia nut goat cheeze! I was not surprised they closed long after that.

I guess I don't have an answer - it is tough to be a teeny tiny minority. From what I've read, vegans represent about .5 - 1% of the population, if that. So I feel bad for Kate's for sure, even if I hadn't gone there in years.

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 Post subject: Re: the Save Kate's campaign
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 10:06 am 
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I would agree Kate's food went downhill. The last meal I had was decent though. Counter seemed to be going for a higher end niche, not sure how that went wrong. I couldn't afford to go there often so I didn't notice their decline (too high brow, too low brow, where's the sweet spot?).

Interesting that Caravan of Dreams wasn't mentioned at all. It will be very sad if the East Village is no longer a mecca for vegans and vegetarians. It's part of why I moved here, and it's changing in so many ways.


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 Post subject: Re: the Save Kate's campaign
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 10:15 am 
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wait, what's going on with Caravan of Dreams?

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 Post subject: Re: the Save Kate's campaign
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 2:29 pm 
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I'm with Aubade. I stopped going to Kate's about 3 or 4 years ago. It just plain wasn't good anymore.

That being said, it really sucks that so many places have closed. (Not a day goes by where I do not miss Curly's!) Still, perhaps too much is being made of the fact that these places have closed for being vegetarian. The economy blows, plenty of meat centric restaurants have closed, as well. I certainly do not think that alienating your loyal core customer base is a good way to save ANY type of business.

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 Post subject: Re: the Save Kate's campaign
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 5:32 pm 
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Yep agree also about the vegetarian slant of the WSJ article. They mention, but gloss over the fact that Kate's taxes doubled, plus rent increases lately are just criminal and ruining all sorts of other long time businesses.

EmperorTomatoKetchup, nothing is going on with Caravan that I know of, it's just the article lists the examples of veggie places that have/had trouble, and mention some successful ones like Angelica, Dirt Candy, and Organic Grill (not even vegetarian). Caravan totally off their radar, which I find interesting.


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 Post subject: Re: the Save Kate's campaign
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 5:52 pm 
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JillW wrote:
Caravan totally off their radar, which I find interesting.

to be fair, i don't think i even knew about it until i passed it on my way to Lula's!

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I'm going to put my cats in a baby bjorn and be like, "LOOK WE CAN STILL HANG OUT LOOK WE'RE HAVING A PLAYDATE." - bathsheba


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 Post subject: Re: the Save Kate's campaign
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 10:11 pm 
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EmperorTomatoKetchup wrote:
Quote:
"I hate to admit it, but put bacon on it, and they will come," said Kate Halpern, who opened the restaurant on Avenue B in 1996.

gah. i'm conflicted about this - is it worse for a veg place to serve meat to try to stay afloat, or for it to just go under?

It's bullshiitake. I've seen several different struggling vegetarian places try this and every single one of them still went under. There are hundreds of thriving vegetarian spots all over the U.S., and many definitely aren't in as prime of a location and New York City, yet they make it work. It's just easy to blame the lack of meat on the menu instead of trying to analyze what the real problem might be.

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 Post subject: Re: the Save Kate's campaign
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 3:15 am 
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I agree, I work a couple of blocks from Kate's, and I never ever get food from there, I just haven't ever had a good experience there, food wise.
I got drunk at the bar a few times though...
I don't think adding meat to their menu would help in the slightest. They'd (probably) lose a lot of their veg customers, and meat eaters wouldn't know. Unless they did a whole remodel.
I think it's accurate to say they aren't closing because they are a vegetarian restaurant, I've seen so many businesses go under in that neighbourhood lately, and so much property standing empty because nobody can afford to rent it.
If I buy food near my work, I get a sandwich from Gracefully, or ice cream at Lulas and a dollar samosa at Punjabi. Mmm...

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 Post subject: Re: the Save Kate's campaign
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 11:34 pm 
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I'm sad for them but I agree - the food could be better. I work in the area a couple nights a week and used to always order the Vegan Supreme plate as takeout, but I got sick of it after awhile. Now my defaults tend to be Gracefully or a vegan slice at Two Boots. I attempted brunch a couple times there two and as much as I liked the bloody marys and the good prices, I felt like I could have made a better tofu scram myself.

I wonder if they'd be able to downsize their space and thrive as a bar that served vegan snacks (aka keep the vegan cheese fries)? I could get behind that.

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 Post subject: Re: the Save Kate's campaign
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 9:32 pm 
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for anyone interested, the Time's Up Easter ride will conclude at Kate's next Sunday. Wings and a beer will go down well for me, maybe the last time unless they get it together somehow.


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 Post subject: Re: the Save Kate's campaign
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 11:30 am 
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Yeah, I think the problem with the veg places that are closing isn't that they're veg, it's that they're not very good. We're spoiled for choice in NYC, so there's no reason to settle for restaurants that we once good (Kate's) or are occasionally good (Curly's).


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 Post subject: Re: the Save Kate's campaign
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 12:08 pm 
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SeitanSaidDance wrote:
or are occasionally good (Curly's).

do you mean Curly's as in Curly's or Curly's as in 14 Carrots?

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I'm going to put my cats in a baby bjorn and be like, "LOOK WE CAN STILL HANG OUT LOOK WE'RE HAVING A PLAYDATE." - bathsheba


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 Post subject: Re: the Save Kate's campaign
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 12:18 pm 
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Curly's (I didn't bother going to 14 Carrots). I don't think I've ever gone there and enjoyed everything I ordered.


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 Post subject: Re: the Save Kate's campaign
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 5:12 pm 
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and it's all over red rover: http://evgrieve.com/2012/04/marshal-sei ... joint.html


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 Post subject: Re: the Save Kate's campaign
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 5:22 pm 
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JillW wrote:

:/

this makes me sad, even if the place wasn't what it used to be.

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vegan cheese bigamy is not allowed. - LisaPunk

I'm going to put my cats in a baby bjorn and be like, "LOOK WE CAN STILL HANG OUT LOOK WE'RE HAVING A PLAYDATE." - bathsheba


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