Webster’s defines the word butcher as a “person who slaughters animals,” and “a dealer in meat.” And yet at Monk’s, a new “butcher” shop in the Bedford Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, the menu will feature neither animals nor meat—at least not in the traditional sense of the terms. Instead, the business will create all of its steaks, sausages, and salamis out of seitan, a high-protein wheat that can steamed, braised and boiled to make meat-like substitutes.
According to DNAInfo, Monk’s has long been a favorite of vegetarians at Smorgasburg—an outdoor food market on the Williamsburg waterfront—but will open its first brick-and-mortar location near Marcy Avenue next spring.
Taking over a 1,000-square-foot space once occupied by a Chinese restaurant, the new Monk’s Vegan Delicatessen and Kitchen is said to be inspired by classic Brooklyn delis and butcher shops. And though the the business model sounds like it could be an out-take from a Saturday Night Live skit—adding to a long list of laughably tone deaf gentrification stories in recent years—the owners of Monk’s say they hope to serve the Bed-Stuy community at large.
“We really love the diversity of this neighborhood and want to be a part of how it's changing,” Chris Kim, one of the founders of the Monk’s, told DNAInfo, adding that he’s lived in the area for two decades. “This is a space where people can come to get their seitan steaks, sausages, salamis, and pick up supplies for the month,” he added later.
Just like the old days, right? Online, the concept behind the store was almost immediately mocked by Twitter users.