Their menu is set to appeal to both meat and non-meat eaters or people who are trying to incorporate more plant-based items into their diet by including creative twists on popular items.
Can’t Believe It’s Not Meat Opens in Damen Student Center
After the closure of Rollin’ n Bowlin’, Loyola opened Can’t Believe It’s Not Meat March 16 near Damen Student Center’s south entrance.
The new restaurant offers vegan and vegetarian options and has other locations in Hyde Park, Gold Coast and Oakland Park, according to Manager and employee Jordan turner. Their menu consists of vegan and vegetarian burgers, patty melts, gyros, chicken sandwiches, hot-dogs, loaded fries and more, according to the Can’t Believe It’s Not Meat menu posted in the restaurant.
The restaurant was founded by Laricia Chandler Baker and opened its first location in 2019 in Hyde Park, according to their website.
Baker didn’t respond to The Phoenix’s request for comment.
Their menu is set to appeal to both meat and non-meat eaters or people who are trying to incorporate more plant-based items into their diet by including creative twists on popular items, according to Loyola’s director of culinary, William Moore.
In addition to their comfort menu items, they serve smoothies and desserts as well.
Executive Chef Baker curated the large menu to appeal to all kinds of vegetarian, vegan and flexitarian diets, creating a place for students who don’t eat meat or are interested in eating more plant based, according to the Can’t Believe It’s Not Meat website.
Moore said the plant-based menu options are already attracting attention on campus and business has been good since the opening.
“More than any specific reason, I think it’s just a general push for health and wellness and just to have a really wide option for those seeking that particular line,” Moore said.
Jordan Turner, the manager of the Damen Student Center’s Can’t Believe It’s Not Meat, had been working at the Hyde location since its opening in 2019 before moving to the location at Loyola just before its opening.
Turner said that the week prior Loyola’s spring break, Can’t Believe It’s Not Meat did a sponsorship in Simpson Dining which is when they became interested in moving on campus.
“We got such a great response from the students and we liked interacting with them,” Turner said.
Rollin’ n Bowlin’ decided to leave Loyola’s campus due to declining participation, according to an email from Loyola Spokesperson Matt McDermott on behalf of Aramark.
Aramark did not respond for a comment.
Anna Miller, a senior biology major, spoke of her disappointment when she was informed by a friend that Rollin’ n Bowlin’ would be leaving campus.
“I got the same order there every time, and I was like, ‘You’re telling me I’m never going to get this again?’” Miller said. “I drank it for the last time and I was like ‘I’ll never have this again,’ crazy disappointing.”
According to Turner, Can’t Believe It’s Not Meat is set to stay at Loyola for at least the rest of the semester and depending on the outcome, it could continue to stay in Damen next year.
“It happened that Rollin’ n Bowlin’ was leaving and they [Loyola] wanted to occupy the space because of the response from the students liking the food,” Turner said.
Working at the restaurant are employees of Can’t Believe It’s Not Meat who came from the restaurant’s other location, according to Moore. While it is not an on-campus job open to students right now, there is potential for training students seeking a job depending on how well the restaurant does in its first few weeks, according to Moore.
Loyola is the first college to open Can’t Believe It’s Not Meat on their campus, serving as the official fourth location for the eatery, according to the Can’t Believe It’s Not Meat’s Instagram.
Featured image by Holden Green