17 May

Bucks County’s Sand Castle Winery has transformed a wine and retail store into a vegan restaurant in Phoenixville.

The Erwinna-based estate vineyard announced the opening of Taste, a vegan restaurant that is a reopening and re-conceptualization of a wine and small plates retail store in Phoenixville.

The 70-seat restaurant — which aims to appeal to vegetarians and those who are not — has an emphasis on proteins, and it will also host live music.

It will open on May 18.

“Rather than emulate the ‘leafy-greens,’ raw foodism model that is commonplace, we sought to form a concept that provides a savory, gourmet menu which satisfies both the diehard and reluctant vegan,” Managing Partner Chad Sletten said.

Veganism has been growing in popularity across the United States, particularly among millennials. About 37 percent of the population always or sometimes eats vegetarian meals when eating out, according to a 2016 study by Harris Poll on behalf of The Vegetarian Resource Group.

“Since 37 percent of the country eats at least some vegetarian meals when eating out, this has strong implications for food companies and restaurants,” the resource group said. “There is incentive for producing vegetarian dishes as there is demand from over one third of the population.”

Executive chef Theo Charitos developed the menu using products from Minneapolis-based Herbivorous Butcher, which is touted as the first vegan butcher shop in the nation.

“When we sampled the ‘meat’ and products from the Herbivorous Butcher, we were blown away,” Sletten said. “The ribs had the exact same texture, flavor and consistency as traditional meats. The chicken tasted like chicken. The steak tasted like high quality beef.”

A full bar featuring Sand Castle wine will offer Pennsylvania-only spirits, including Pittsburgh’s Wigle Whiskey, Lansdale’s Boardroom Spirits; and local micro-breweries like Free Will Brewing in Perkasie and Weyerbacher Brewing in Easton.

There will also be cocktails.

The restaurant’s design aesthetic is New York City designer Dean Arcuri of Inimitable Designs. Arcuri has worked with Calvin Klein, Dolce & Gabbana, Giorgio Armani and Ralph Lauren.

Restaurant Hours

  • Monday: Closed
  • Tuesday: 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
  • Wednesday: 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
  • Thursday: 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
  • Friday: 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
  • Saturday: 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
  • Sunday: 11 a.m.-5 p.m.