New punk rock vegan restaurant, Fatty Vegan, opens in Ventura and draws crowds of hungry music enthusiasts


New punk rock themed, vegan junk food restaurant Fatty Vegan in Ventura CA offering to-go and outside tent seating on this a blue skied Friday March 12, 2021. Photo credit: Tara Brown

By Ali Wire

A new restaurant in Ventura is embracing both vegan food and punk rock, inspiring its’ community to be good to each other, as well as themselves. Fatty Vegan opened up to the public in January of this year and has had a strong impression on the community.

The restaurant’s branding and promotional posts use edgy fonts and logos, along with images of different punk rock icons that are posted throughout their social media. This attracted a large amount of hungry music enthusiasts from near and far to rally behind them for their opening day.

“We had a line wrapped around our entire shopping complex the entire first week,” said restaurant owner Jon Shimer. “We completely sold out of food on our first day, which was humbling and exciting all at the same time.”

The opening of this establishment has united not only local punk fans, but several well known punk rock band members have stopped by to show support. Shimer reported that members from ILL Repute, Stalag 13, The Missing 23rd, Suicidal Tendencies, Mad Caddies, Mariachi El Bronx, False Confessions, Dr Know and Dead Kennedys have been in the store since their opening.

Self- proclaimed vegan Barak Lurie (right) travelled from Los Angeles to Fatty Vegan Friday March 12, 2020 for the first time.  Lurie seen here talking with one of the owners, Jon Shimer (right) and front house worker Suzzy Eroh.
Self- proclaimed vegan Barak Lurie (right) travelled from Los Angeles to Ventura CA to check out Fatty Vegan restaurant on Friday March 12, 2020 for the first time. Lurie seen here talking with one of the owners, Jon Shimer (right) and front house worker Suzzy Eroh. Photo credit: Tara Brown

The restaurant offers a unique culinary experience; vegan comfort food. Shimer was inspired to open up his restaurant due to the lack of vegan options in the community.

“Being vegan or vegetarian in Ventura County has always shown a lack of options. My wife and I have always found ourselves driving to Los Angeles or Orange County to go out for a good meal,” Shimer explained.

The menu at Fatty Vegan features different delectable items, ranging from nachos to milkshakes, and all are completely vegan. There are several different meat alternatives used in the food, ranging from beyond sausage in the hot dogs to shredded jackfruit for barbecue sandwiches.

“Veganism and punk go hand in hand,” Shimer said. “Punk rock, to me, is about being socially aware and conscious of the world you live in; and being aware of how you impact the planet and other people. Veganism is just that; being conscious and aware of your impact on the planet.”

The community has already rallied behind Fatty Vegan, and support for it grows daily.

Taylor Mcnellis, a Ventura County local vegan, got the chance to try the food before their opening day.

“The menu is huge. I was surprised they have so many options,” Mcnellis exclaimed. “I can’t wait for them to be fully open for shows and other events they’re planning on putting on. They’re really going to be a full experience for punk lovers and lovers of vegan junk food.”

Much of the praise that Fatty Vegan gets is for its’ versatility in menu items, and in what it offers compared to other local restaurants. While it can be easy for most people to grab a pizza or a burger at most restaurants, it can prove to be difficult for those who practice a vegan diet.

Fatty Vegan restaurant owners  Jon Shiner (left), Candice Shimer (middle) and Sean Kingsbury (right).
Friday March 12, 2021, Ventura CA, Fatty Vegan restaurant owners Jon Shimer (left) with wife Candice Shimer (middle) and Sean Kingsbury (right) show off some dishes from their large-portioned eclectic junk food menu. Pictured here from left to right is the Ruben So Ho, Nutter Butter Shake and the Manic Hispanic Combo. Photo credit: Tara Brown

On her visit, customer Endrea Kosven tried out a gluten free pizza with onions. Kosven also eats vegan, and frequently visits vegan restaurants in Ventura and Los Angeles County.

“It is hard to find good vegan comfort food. There are very few places that offer it,” said Kosven.

Fatty Vegan not only draws the local vegan customer in, many non-vegans are also stopping by to show their support.

“I’m not vegan, but I do try to watch and reduce my meat intake so I love hearing when new vegetarian and vegan spots open up locally,” said Oxnard resident Alexander Cano. “Vegans and non-vegans alike will definitely be satisfied with Fatty Vegan and will want to come back for more.”

Fatty Vegan is currently open for take-out and outdoor dining Wednesday to Sunday, from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. Online ordering is also available on their website.