After operating for over 13 years, the vegan barbecue business might be closing for good.
It’s no secret that Portland’s vegan scene is one of the best in the country! But the plant-forward city is about to experience a huge loss as the popular vegan barbecue spot Homegrown Smoker faces permanent closure this month unless a buyer intercepts the restaurant.
First All-Vegan Barbecue in the World
After working as a chef meat salesman for years, Jeff Ridabock crafted mind-blowing vegan meat recipes and founded Homegrown Smoker back in 2009 at age 51. According to Ridabock, Homegrown Smoker is recognized for creating the first all-vegan barbecue in the world. And although the business began as a food cart, it expanded far beyond that to a vegan deli (Homegrown Smokehouse), and in 2017 to a full-on restaurant—Homegrown Smoker.
For 13 years, fans have obsessed over Homegrown Smoker’s menu of smoked soy curls, tempeh ribs, mac ‘n’ cheese, baked beans, coleslaw, collard greens, hush puppies, and more. From classic platters to innovative barbecue burritos and crunch wraps, this vegan business proved that vegan food doesn’t have to be boring.
Homegrown Smoker’s Last Day of Service
Earlier this week, the announcement was made on Instagram that Ridabock would be retiring. “It’s time for him to slow down a little and enjoy life more. Covid has made what matters clear to everyone—health, happiness, savoring our time. We love you Jeff—we’re so proud of what you’ve created.”
Since Ridabock is retiring, that means the restaurant will no longer be in operation unless an investor decides to purchase the spot and keep the business alive. If that doesn’t happen in the coming days, Homegrown Smoker’s last day of service will be Sunday, December 19.
“Thank you to everyone who has been part of Homegrown. From our crew to our customers, we never expected to receive this level of support or meet so many amazing people along the way. From the bottom of our hearts—thank you. You made this dream real,” read the Instagram caption.
For more information, check out @homegrownsmoker on Instagram.