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Detroit Vegan Soul's West Village location officially closes permanently

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News

Considered to be the first official 100% vegan restaurant in the city proper, Detroit Vegan Soul has permanently closed its original restaurant in West Village. The Grand River location is currently temporarily closed and is expected to reopen in April. 

The Agnes location of the plant-based soul food restaurant had been closed due to the pandemic, but owners Kirsten Ussery and Erika Boyd confirmed through a social media post that it would not reopen.

"So many of you expressed concern and desire for us to reopen there and though we wanted to, we could not recover from the effects of the pandemic," says the statement, first reported by Crains Detroit, adding that "2021 was a whirlwind of emotions for us." 

Detroit Vegan Soul co-owners Kirsten Ussery, left, and Erika Boyd serve up dishes like Catfish Tofu filet sandwich with potato wedges and cold slaw.

The remaining location at 19614 Grand River will reopen in April after an extended winter break. 

"We've decided to extend our winter break for three months to reset and re-tool so that we can continue to sustain our business for years to come," reads the Facebook post. The revamped Detroit Vegan Soul will expand catering opportunities, have a meal-planning service and will see the return of Sunday brunch. 

In the statement the owners say they are "proud that we accomplished our goals" and to have been trailblazers not only in the vegan food scene but in the growth of that neighborhood. 

"In 2013 we first opened our doors on Agnes to a full house and a line down the street and around the corner. The first business to open on an empty block and the only 100% plant-based restaurant in Detroit at the time, we took a huge risk and we do not regret one moment. We bootstrapped its startup and put so much sweat, hard work, and love into the space, even doing much of the physical work ourselves. We had two missions — to help people live healthier lives and revitalize the commercial viability of the neighborhood."