June 24, 2021

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Hendersonville rib restaurant drops meat from menu, goes vegetarian

HENDERSONVILLE – For some, the pandemic was a time of soul-searching. That was the case with New York’s Eleven Madison Park chef-owner Daniel Humm, who recently told NPR he’s dropping the foie gras. 

When his three-Michelin Star restaurant reopens in June, it will serve an all plant-based menu.

That trend has already made its way to Hendersonville, where 2 Guys Pizza and Ribs has dropped the word “Ribs” from its name and launched a vegetarian menu. Prior to the new menu, the restaurant served ribs, pizza and wings for 14 years.

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2 Guys Pizza and Ribs is now 2 Guys Planet Friendly Food and Brews, said Melody Crawford, who co-owns the restaurant with her husband John Crawford.

She said she and her husband struggled to make takeout profitable in the year-plus since they closed their dining room in reaction to the pandemic. More than that, they struggled with their feelings about serving meat.

The couple — he’s vegan, she’s vegetarian — estimate their business has served meat from approximately 300,000 chickens and 10,000 pigs over the years.

Plant-based "shrimp" on a salad at 2 Guys.

“I just couldn’t abide by it anymore,” Melody Crawford said. 

They’d been mulling over dropping meat from their menu for years, but didn’t think they were financially stable enough to do it. The pandemic, however, gave them time to refocus and think about what mattered to them. 

To execute their vision, the Crawfords sold their Hendersonville home and a Tryon vacation rental. They then moved into a studio apartment behind their restaurant with their two dogs.