The owner of the world’s first 24-hour vegan drive-thru in London says they will not be deterred, after the location at Highbury Avenue and Cheapside Street was struck by vandals.
“I (heart) meat” was written in spray paint just above the drive-thru window of Globally Local sometime between Thursday night and early Friday morning.
Owner James McInnes noted this isn’t the first time the property has been vandalized with graffiti since they moved into the former Harvey’s location earlier this year, but this is the first time the graffiti appears to specifically target veganism.
“Before, we thought, ‘OK, you know, there seems to be a lot of graffiti in the area,’ and we just thought it was kids doing what kids do, but we didn’t really look at it as a direct attack against us although there was more graffiti as soon as we took over the premises than there was when Harvey’s was there,” McInnes said.
“It wasn’t until this happened that it was like, ‘Wow, this is a direct attack against us,’ and it was so explicit.”
McInnes plans to contact police about the vandalism and install security cameras at the drive-thru location. Cameras have already been installed at Globally Local’s original location at 252 Dundas St. downtown.
While it’s unclear how long it will take to clean up the graffiti, McInnes said it will not affect their business hours. The location had a soft opening on Wednesday and the drive-thru is currently open daily from 8 a.m. until 10 p.m. with plans to open their restaurant area as well as extend their hours 24 hours a day within the coming weeks.
“This is just part of the hiccups when you get going and you’re doing something that’s a bit controversial,” he said. “We’ve already had a tremendous amount of support from the community and we really hope that it continues, and we think these kinds of attacks will only bring our community closer together and that’s something that we’re excited about. It’s not going to slow us down, definitely not.”
Globally Local serves vegan versions of hamburgers, including their Famous Burger which is a play on the Big Mac, along with tacos, macaroni and cheese, and french fries.
The restaurant area inside the location at 1141 Highbury Ave. will have seating for 120 people.