Sophie Bolich

Twisted Plants Brings Vegan Bar Fare to Brady

Open for lunch, dinner and late-night, the restaurant is a plant-based take on classic bar fare.

By - Aug 4th, 2022 01:55 pm
Mural at Twisted Plants on Brady Street. Photo taken August 4, 2022 by Sophie Bolich

Mural at Twisted Plants on Brady Street. Photo taken August 4, 2022 by Sophie Bolich

Twisted Plants recently opened its second location, bringing its plant-based burgers and comfort food to the Lower East Side neighborhood, 1233 E. Brady St.

Arielle Hawthorne and her husband, Brandon Hawthorne, started the operation with a food truck back in 2019, later expanding to a brick-and-mortar in Cudahy, 4905 S. Packard Ave., in the spring of 2020. The newest location opened in June.

Opening a fully vegan restaurant in the land of cheese curds and custard may seem like a risky decision, but Twisted Plants quickly garnered a loyal fanbase.

In fact, it became apparent to Hawthorne after opening the second location that many customers had been making the trip to Cudahy, about a 30 minute drive round-trip from downtown, just for their fix.

“The traffic has slowed down significantly,” she said of the Cudahy location. “A lot of people are really grateful that we’re right in the in the heart of the city, and that they have better access,” Arielle Hawthorne said. “We’re just happy that we were able to expand and connect with more of our customer base on this side of town.”

The new location will be open for lunch and dinner, serving until bar-close on weekends to participate in Brady Street nightlife.

Its menu has all of the original favorites including Arielle Hawthorne’s pick, The Superbad: a plant-based burger topped with grilled onions, jalepeños, chipotle ranch and pepper jack cheese.

The rest of the menu, featuring items like “How High” and “Still Smokin’,” is not-so-subtly cannabis-themed.

Gluten-free buns can be substituted with any burger. Drummies, Chik’N Nuggets and Tater Tots are other gluten-friendly options. Crispy Chick’n Salad and appetizers like mozzarella sticks, Chicago-style hot dogs and cauliflower bites are also available.

Inspired by her upbringing in Chicago, Arielle Hawthorne is working on recipes for gyros, Italian “beef” and pizza puffs.

For dessert, the restaurant has a selection of bakery from Bunny’s Bite, a local vegan and gluten-free dessert business, including peanut butter cup cookie bars, plus chocolate chunk, double chocolate pistachio and peanut butter cookies.

Drink options include lemonade, ice cream shakes and slushies. Beer and wine will be added in the “very near future,” Arielle Hawthorne said.

The restaurant occupies an empty space left by Betty’s Burgers & Custard, which closed in November.

The Hawthornes transformed the 1,605-square-foot space, adding a grass wall and a movie poster gallery, and hiring local artist Kailey Samolyk of Mix & Splash Art to paint over bright pink and yellow paint job left by the previous owners.

Samolyk’s vibrant mural features a deconstructed burger entwined with the words “let’s get twisted.” A very red-eyed cartoon slushie, flanked by marijuana leaves, completes the painting.

Twisted Plants on Brady Street is open Tuesday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday through Saturday from 11 a.m. until 2 a.m.

The restaurant will also pop up as a vendor at events throughout the remainder of summer and into fall including WMSE Backyard BBQ on Aug. 27, Bayview Bash on Sept. 17, Domestic Violence Walk in Veterans Park on Oct. 8 and Spooky Vegan Trunk or Treat on Oct. 29.

The Cudahy location is open Tuesday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Friday through Saturday from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m.

The Twisted Plants food truck has been popping up at events throughout the summer. Its next appearance will be at Vennture Brew Co. this Friday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

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