Vegan restaurant Nosh Pit opens in Royal Oak June 6 with the help of the community

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News

It takes a village to relocate a vegan restaurant in a pandemic. 

Co-owner Karen Kahn knows this, and intends on returning the favor by making the new Royal Oak location of Nosh Pit — set to open June 6 near 11 Mile and Main — a place where the vegan community can feel at home. 

Nosh Pit has moved from Hamtramck to Royal Oak near 11 Mile and Main, and will open June 6.

The new Nosh Pit will be technology-forward and have a bigger kitchen than its former Hamtramck space. Diners can expect a larger menu with more plant-based junk food items like vegan versions of cheese sticks and wings. There will also be soups, sandwiches, a small market with local products and an entire vegan bakery run by general manager Trevor Smith.

With guests ordering at the counter and seating themselves, the goal at the new Nosh Pit is safety, good food and speedy service. 

In early 2020 when the pandemic began, Kahn said she and co-owner Stefan Kudek were unsure how their business would survive. When restaurants first shut down they turned Nosh Pit into a food pantry to help others, and their friends and neighbors returned the favor. 

"Each time we got to that point we’ve had miracles happen, we did," said Kahn. "Once we told staff that we had to let them go because we had no idea if we’d have customers the next week, everyone came back and helped.

"I’ve been very lucky to have the friends and support we have had opening-wise, too. I don’t have the funds to bring everyone back all at once, so we are going to be open with a small army," she said, adding that a customer offered to paint the ceilings at the new location for just the cost of materials. "It has been a true community effort ... (people) keep popping up and saying 'I have a day, how can I help?'" 

Kahn and Kudek also saw support from other business owners. Kahn was able to work at SugarBuzz Bakery in Ferndale during its opening week earlier this year. She said others like restaurateurs Ping Ho, chef Kate Williams and Bobcat Bonnie's Matt Buskard reached out to offer assistance or support with Nosh Pit's relocation and Kahn's own personal health struggles.

"I'm very grateful for it," she said. "COVID has brought the restaurant community tighter than it's ever been in this area, for sure."

In addition to the new location of Nosh Pit the restaurant, the Nosh Pit food truck is getting upgraded to a bigger vehicle and will be seen soon at festivals and local events. 

Kahn says Nosh Pit Royal Oak will debut with a vegan brunch June 6. Hours will be noon-10 p.m. Mon. and Wed.-Sun. Find it at 304 N. Main in the plaza near Main Art Theatre and Emagine Theatre. Call (313) 486-0777 or visit noshpitdetroit.com.

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mbaetens@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @melodybaetens