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Bar Vegan Brings Cocktail Theater to Ponce City Market When It Opens This Weekend

Expect wildly over-the-top tableside drinks incorporating fire extinguishers and Ferris wheels paired with vegan burgers, cheesesteaks, and egg rolls

A smiling woman drops an ice cube into a large margarita glass with a pineapple wedge garnish. As the cube hits the the margarita it dramatically splashes out
Pineapple margarita
Madelynne Ross
Beth McKibben is the editor and staff reporter for Eater Atlanta and has been covering food and cocktails locally and regionally for 12 years.

Bar Vegan, an “experiential” restaurant and cocktail bar from Slutty Vegan founder Aisha “Pinky” Cole, opens Sunday, February 28, at Ponce City Market. The full-service restaurant takes over the space formerly occupied by the Mercury, which closed in 2019 after three years on the second floor of the central food hall.

Expect riffs on classic cocktails like a pineapple and Texas margarita, the cosmopolitan, old fashioned, and gimlet, along with vegan beer and wine, non-alcoholic cocktails, and wildly over-the-top tableside drinks served in a fire extinguisher, Ferris wheel, or a gas can. The Foreign Fruit Punch comes served in an “active smokey volcano.” It’s all part of what’s being described as “bar theatre” at Bar Vegan.

Food featured on the menu includes a selection of vegan sandwiches and salads from Cole’s popular burger restaurant Slutty Vegan. Cole pulled in Big Dave’s Cheesesteaks owner Derrick Hayes to create other bar bites for the menu, like vegan egg rolls, cauliflower wings, and cheesesteaks.

Last summer, Cole and Hayes helped purchase a car for Tomika Miller, the widow of Rayshard Brooks. The pair will provide life insurance policies and scholarships for his four children to attend Cole’s alma mater, Clark Atlanta University. Brooks was shot and killed by Atlanta police office Garrett Rolfe in a Wendy’s parking lot off of University Avenue on the evening of June 12, 2020.

Throughout the pandemic, Bar Vegan plans to operate at reduced seating capacity. All patrons must wear a mask when speaking with staff and when they are not seated at a table or at the bar. Bar Vegan opens for lunch daily at the bar and dinner in the evenings, with brunch on Sundays.

Eater reached out for a menu and more details.

Slutty Vegan founder Aisha “Pinky” Cole
Slutty Vegan founder Aisha “Pinky” Cole
Sterling Pics

Cole founded Slutty Vegan as a food delivery service in 2018, with people contacting her via Instagram to place orders for provocatively named vegan burgers like the One Night Stand and Ménage à Trois. She quickly amassed a large following, eventually leading to a food truck and late night pop-ups around Atlanta University Center — home to Spelman, Morehouse, and Clark Atlanta University. Cole opened her first restaurant in the Westview neighborhood of Atlanta in January 2019.

A second Slutty Vegan opened last summer in Jonesboro, Georgia, followed by a third location on Edgewood Avenue in the Old Fourth Ward in October. Cole is currently working on opening her fourth Slutty Vegan restaurant in Birmingham, Alabama.

Ponce City Market owner Jamestown announced a 500,000-square-foot expansion of the property last fall to include a 400-unit tower and 100,000-square-foot building featuring office, retail, and restaurant space. Part of the planned expansion includes new restaurant kiosks and a bar at Ponce City Market’s central food hall.

Billion-dollar salad chain Sweetgreen announced plans to expand to Atlanta with at least two new locations opening this year. Sweetgreen, based in Los Angeles, will open restaurants slinging its vast array of salads and grain bowls and celebrity chef-collaborative dishes at Ponce City Market and Lenox Square Mall.

Open Monday - Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Thursday - Sunday, 11 a.m. to 12 a.m. Masks required at the restaurant and inside the Ponce City Market food hall. Reduced seating.

Ponce City Market

675 North Avenue Northeast, , GA 30308 (404) 900-7900 Visit Website

SluttyVegan ATL

1542 Ralph David Abernathy Boulevard Southwest, , GA 30310 (855) 439-7588 Visit Website

Big Dave's Cheesesteaks

57 Forsyth Street Northwest, , GA 30303 (470) 681-0945 Visit Website

The Mercury

11909 Preston Road, , TX 75230 (972) 960-7774 Visit Website