One of Malta’s favourite vegan places, known for insane creations like 100% vegan pastizzi to plant-based Maltese sausage, has announced its closure.
Choco Kebab Cafe in Bugibba had developed an incredible reputation as an oasis of alternative food in the seaside town of Bugibba.
However, while there is a sizeable vegan community in Malta, the majority of the eatery’s income comes from vegan tourists who visit Malta – a group that has massively dwindled in the wake of Malta’s increased restrictions against them, with many of them remaining unvaccinated.
“Vegan tourists see my sign, and they’ll come every day until they leave the island,” Gerald Lewis, the owner and chef behind the place, told Lovin Malta. “In Bugibba, the locals aren’t enough.”
With the bulk of his income coming from vegan tourists who come to rely on the place as their go-to and new vegan options in the area appearing as well as other locals – such as Gżira – becoming a new hotspot for alternative food, Lewis had no choice but to shut down operations as less and less tourists visit the island this year.
“We regret to inform you, but we decided to close down for now,” the restaurant posted over the weekend. “Thanks a lot to our customers for support all these years! We will miss you.”
Lewis, who is a certified tailor, has moved on to greener pastures – the restaurant is now open to let.
While he isn’t ruling out ever entering the food business again, Lewis is currently looking for someone else to take over the location – he even said he would be happy to share his secret recipes if the right person showed up.
Now that he’s closing, he wanted to leave a message for the general public to keep in mind when dining out or leaving reviews.
“When there is dedication involved towards a certain group, try and support as much as possible,” he said. “Bad reviews and negativity only destroys hard work.”
Check out when Lovin Eats visited Choco Kebab Cafe in its episode all about vegan food in Malta.
Cover photo: Bugibba Malta
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