Kuma’s Corner, Chicago’s boisterous heavy metal shelter for massive burgers and craft beer is evolving and will now allow customers to swap out a meatless Impossible Burger patty on any of the restaurant’s gigantic burgers. This represents a huge change of heart for Kuma’s, which had proudly proclaimed on its menu its lack of vegan options. The burger chain — with locations in Avondale, Lincoln Park, Fulton Market, and suburban Schaumburg — joins a chorus of burger chains (M Burger, Bareburger, Umami Burger) using the Impossible Burger, the “bleeding” patty that tries to emulate the look and taste of meat compared to other meatless burgers which go for more a veggie texture and flavor.
The restaurant has had a veggie patty on the menu, but refused to pander to vegans. Besides the Impossible burger, Kuma’s will also further cater to the vegan crowd with vegan pretzel buns, vegan cheese, and vegan mayonnaise. Kuma’s burgers are named after their favorite bands, and punk and hardcore music has long shared a connection with vegans and vegetarians. Many of those bands have vegan members. Though some meat-loving punk rockers and metal heads may make fun of Morrissey and others who live meat-free, Kuma’s management has decided to make sure they can serve all their favorite musicians and fans.
“We set out to pay homage to the world of metal music to the best of our abilities,” read a Kuma’s Facebook post. “Under many circumstances, members of these bands are vegetarian and vegan. So, to properly honor everyone involved, Kuma’s will offer our first vegan-friendly burger option — The Impossible Burger!”
The Impossible Burger is available right now. Kuma’s burger of the month for November will also celebrate vegans/vegetarians, named after Converge, the Massachusetts-based metal/hardcore outfit who drop a new album in November. The Converge burger consists of a 6-ounce Impossible Burger patty, cherry tomato jam, avocado mash, vegan cheddar, vegan roasted garlic mayo, baby arugula, and red onion.
The 12-year-old chain earlier this year opened a location in Fulton Market, among the trendy fine-dining options in West Loop. While Kuma’s still won’t show sports on their TV, ownership is expanding its fanbase, whether they’re suburbanites in Schaumburg or vegan starving for attention. Despite being meat- and dairy-free, some vegans dispute the Impossible Burger’s authenticity. No matter, customers can try the meatless patties at all Chicago-area locations starting today.