It has become more apparent that the hospitality sector has been taking quite the hit recently with multiple closures happening across the UK, including Manchester. However, in order to try and survive during such turbulent times, one restaurant that has always served a completely vegan menu has made the decision to start serving meat.
Nomas Gastrobar has said that it will be adding “a thoughtfully curated selection of high-quality, responsibly sourced meat and dairy options” to their menu. The Macclesfield restaurant, which is less than an hour’s drive and a 27-minute train journey from Manchester, said they have tried multiple ways to stay afloat such as keeping drinks menu prices the same since 2021, offering several deals and new products but sadly “haven’t seen a change”.
In an open letter to its customers, the vegan restaurant said it has been a “difficult yet necessary decision” to start serving meat on their menu. Nomas Gastrobar in Macclesfield’s Grosvenor Shopping Centre admitted that the limitations of their vegan menu, at times, meant they “welcomed only a small number of customers”, making it increasingly difficult for the business to thrive financially.
Nomas Gastrobar, owned by Adonis Norouznia and his wife Fey, even shared an account of customers walking out of the restaurant after seeing that everything on the menu was vegan. They also pointed out that plant-based businesses across the country are closing at a rapid rate – for Manchester, the trend-setting V Rev in the Northern Quarter, Vertigo at the Corn Exchange, Zad’s in Chorlton and Frosts Burgers on Portland Street have all closed in the last couple of years.
The restaurant’s move to start serving meat has sparked a fierce debate online, with some accepting that this is a way of trying to remain open, and others blasting them for “selling death and cruelty”. The owners of the restaurant said it’s been “really upsetting” to see some of the “nastiness” in the comments of their post.
However, Nomas Gastrobar promised that their commitment to the vegan community “remains unwavering” and that they will continue to offer “a wide array of scrumptious vegan dishes”. The menu at the vegan restaurant soon to be serving meat currently features the likes of gyros,burgers and tacos as well as ‘pinsa pizzas’ and brunch and breakfast dishes like pancakes, açaí bowls and Greek protein omelettes.
In a follow-up letter, Nomas Gastrobar wrote: “We understand that our decision to start serving meat on our menu may come as quite a shock to people, it certainly did to us. However, daily, we witness people walking into Nomas Gastrobar seeing the vegan menu/offering and then walking out. Or even saying ‘Is it all vegan’ and then leaving.
The restaurant continued: “In answer to comments like ‘Is there no other way’, we promise, we have explored so many avenues. When the new menu does happen, the majority of it will still be vegan. There will be a few meat alternatives for those who would prefer them.
“We’ve seen a few comments like ‘I was planning to visit but now I won’t’. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean a lot. Right now we are not taking enough money to pay our wonderful team’s wages or rent to our landlord, people’s thoughts on visiting don’t help us pay these bills.
“We’ve found it pretty astonishing some of the nastiness in the comments. We have made this choice out of a place of survival for our family-run business and seeing people who are meant to ‘love all beings’ being awful to each other has really been upsetting.
“We’re living in a climate where well-established plant-based businesses are closing. We moved to this county 6 years ago and this business is our only source of income, we need to make it work and therefore have to try whatever we can.”