First Pics: Vegan Commissary now open at 1703 S 11th St.

The BYOB cafe called Vegan Commissary has opened at 1703 S. 11th St., the old location of the short-lived Lil Snuffs sandwich shop.

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Owner Steve Laurence has hired chef Leigh Needham to create a blackboard menu that changes according to “whatever is fresh that day,” Laurence said. Menu items when we stopped by included butternut squash gnudi, spicy miso soup, a poached pear salad, a spicy tofu bahn mi and polenta with root vegetables and melted greens. The full menu is below.

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To start, the cafe is serving dinner Wednesday to Sunday and brunch Saturday and Sunday, with lunch service to come in the spring. Laurence said he also plans to expand to delivery and takeout soon, including a special called Meatless Mondays that will offer prepared three-course meals that customers can reheat at home. “We’re trying to give people the opportunity to have the night off and not have to cook one night,” Laurence said.

Before lunch begins Laurence said he needs to accommodate a boom in his wholesale business. He’s been supplying markets around the city with vegan delights for years.

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Here’s some evidence that the menu changes daily, since we stopped by on New Year’s Eve.

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So what’s with the crazy prices? For one, tax and tip are included in the price. Laurence said he pays a living wage for his “all volunteer army” but he also wants to make his place something that the neighborhood can afford to come to a couple times a week.

“I could have rounded up all the prices, but over the course of the year, it adds up,” Laurence said. “The numbers work out perfectly with tax and service.”

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Artwork, which is for sale, is by Mat Tonelli
Artwork, which is for sale, is by Mat Tonelli

For now dinner is served Wednesday and Thursday 5 to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday 5 to 10 p.m. Brunch is on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and on Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. No reservations taken at the moment.

Find the cafe on Facebook here. Website is still under construction.