We began this business as Plant Matter Bistro in the fall of 2017—the first upscale vegan restaurant on this particular block of Dundas Street. Initially, the Bistro had a successful first six months of operations with waiting lists, many rave reviews, a team of 15 staff, and a hopping restaurant in London’s core.
However, a few months later brought construction to Dundas Street. The first phase of the construction began in 2018 toward the Ridout end of Dundas Street, drastically reducing the flow of vehicular and pedestrian traffic along Dundas Street. We began to notice the impact on our sales almost immediately.
Phase 2 of construction began directly in front of our doors the following season; this had such a significant impact on sales that we had no choice but to cut our hours of operation in half and eventually reduce staff to a team of four people.
As construction went on during that summer, we made the difficult decision to close operations temporarily. Construction along Dundas finally ended in the late fall/early winter of 2019—giving us just a few short months to begin recouping losses before the pandemic started in 2020.
Obviously, like all businesses, Covid-19 was very hard on Plant Matter Bistro. In the summer of 2020, we had to temporarily close again until eventually deciding to close the Bistro permanently in the late fall of 2020. As a last-ditch effort to make the most of these losses—and because we still had the location and kitchen amenities—we pivoted operations to become a pick-up and delivery-only restaurant: Soul Kitchen.
We truly appreciate the support from the community and our customers over the last three years. While we are closing the doors here, this is not the end! We will continue to create all your vegan favourites at our other two locations: Plant Matter Kitchen in Wortley Village and Plant Matter Cafe on Richmond Street!
Our last day serving comforting vegan meals from Soul Kitchen will be this Saturday, April 17, at the end of the service.
We will continue to evolve and focus on growing and improving how we serve vegan food to the London community.
Thank you again for all your support!