A restaurant specializing in vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free fare plans to open this summer in downtown Oak Park.
"Munch" will take over the space formerly occupied by Café Minou (104 N. Marion), which closed earlier this year.
Oak Parker Robbin O'Harrow has worked for some 25 years in the business, as a bartender and server, and was formerly a vegan herself. She wants to bring the fresh and healthy way she eats at home to the general masses.
"These are the things I believe in, this is the way I cook, and this is the way I eat," she said. "I've been cooking for kids for 30 years, plus I've been dealing with vegetarians and allergies and those issues, so I've known about it for a long time — long before it was ever in style."
The menu will have a minimal number of dishes for carnivores, and any meat entrées will come from animals that were treated humanely. O'Harrow's major focus is vegan and gluten-free dishes. She plans to offer such items as a barbecue beef-like sandwich made from jackfruit, and vegan vegetable lasagna — made with mushroom, eggplant and tofu ricotta.
Munch will also strongly emphasize side dishes, said O'Harrow, which will include coconut yams, roasted rosemary potatoes and beans.
"Sides are going to be a big, big part of the menu," she said.
The restaurant will offer counter service and seat about 20 people, 30 if you factor in some outdoor spots. O'Harrow will stress the grab-and-go aspect of the business, and she also hopes to allow patrons to bring their own beer or wine.
Munch will be open every day but Monday starting sometime in June.