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‘This Is a Really Big Homecoming for Me’: Pinky Cole Set to Open Slutty Vegan In Brooklyn, Years After Her First Restaurant Location Burned Down In Harlem

The Planet of Brooklyn is the next city to be “slutted” out by restaurateur Pinky Cole.

The founder and CEO of Slutty Vegan, the boutique plant-based fast-food phenomenon that has captivated the South, has announced a new franchise location in the Fort Greene section of Kings County. It will be the seventh national opening for the sexy burger joint that rose to popularity in Atlanta just a few short years ago.

ATLANTA, GA — APRIL 28: Owner Pinky Cole at one of her many Slutty Vegan locations in Atlanta, Georgia on April 28, 2022. (Photo by Lexi Scott for The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Now, the recently married Cole is looking to bite out of the Big Apple, placing a brick-and-mortar spot on 690 Fulton Street, on the corner of Fulton and S. Portland, according to Vegconomist.com.

The shop will replace the Broccoli Bar, another vegan restaurant, and be housed in the “Comandante Biggie Building,” named after the Bad Boy rapper the Notorious BIG (aka Biggie).

“It’s an honor to be opening a concept in such an established space, just down the street from where Biggie Smalls grew up, and to bring more delicious vegan food to the Brooklyn community,” Coles said.

The news was announced by the mayor of New York, Eric Adams, on the city’s social media. A plant-based eater himself, he shouted out Cole and her team, welcoming them to the city.

“On behalf of 8.8 million New Yorkers, I’d like to say, welcome to New York. The big time,” he said while having a green juice and pedaling his Peloton.

“Anyone who knows me, knows I like to eat healthy and plant-based,” he stated. “We love our brothers and sisters in Atlanta, but it was about time you brought your vegan burgers to the greatest city in the world.”

Adams declared his mission as the city’s top executive is to lead a “healthy revolution,” and make more healthy options for Black and Brown people plagued by food deserts.

“Restaurants like yours,” he said, “are going to play a pivotal role, especially in Black and Brown communities that for far too long have not had the same access and choices.”

Slutty Vegan has an opportunity to make these options not only available but attractive. Its cool factor is based on its social media presence, amplified by influencers, actors, rappers other luminaries.

In an interview on “Good Morning America,” the former Miss Clark Atlanta and member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., said, “I’m excited to come here, I’m excited to come back home to New York, and I can’t wait.”

Pinky, whose real name is Aisha Cole and is a Baltimore native, lived in New York for a couple of years after she graduated from Clark Atlanta University to work in television. While there she opened her first food eatery in Harlem called Pinky’s Jamaican and American Restaurant in 2014. 

According to Forbes, the restaurant was destroyed in a grease fire in 2016, forcing her to close its doors. “I had a restaurant here, lost it to a grease fire, went completely flat broke so this is a really big homecoming for me,” she said on “GMA” about her first-ever restaurant in Harlem.

She moved back to Atlanta, taking a job with Iyanla Vanzant as a casting director for “Iyanla: Fix My Life,” but that would be short-lived.

Two years later, she started Slutty Vegan.

Thirty-four-year-old Cole, who has an estimated net worth of $3 million, has been in a role since opening her first location. Earlier this spring, she received an eight-figure influx of investments through a Series A funding round campaign, helping the business to have an estimated value of $100 million.

Venture capitalist Richelieu Dennis (New Voices Fund) and restaurateur Danny Meyer (Enlightened Hospitality Investments invested $25 million into her brand and have signed on as mentors to help with her company’s expansion.

Meyer is the man behind Shake Shack. Cole said, “I got the Michael Jordan of food on my team,” when talking about the investment, adding that he “has proven that you can scale a business, and it can be unique.”

Her other mentor/investor is the founder of Shea Moisture and now owner of Essence, Richelieu Dennis, who at 53-year-old’s estimated worth is between $350 million and $400 million.

The grand opening for the Brooklyn location will be on Sunday, Sept. 18, but the home of the cheekily named meatless burgers like “One Night Stand,” “Fussy Hussy,” or the “Sloppy Toppy” will be open for business the day before.

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