From the street, patrons are greeted by a “Sorry We’re Open” sign, giving the initial down with the man, support local, live outdoors vibe. Upon entering, a neon pterodactyl is mounted behind the register while a vinyl Elvis hangs crying on the left. A lot of their decorations have been found at yard sales or picked up at thrift shops. Family members add their own vibe to the place with the one of a kind pieces they add to the walls and ceiling.
If you have spent any time around the Near South Neighborhood area, you probably have heard of Grateful Bread/Freakbeat Vegetarian. Grateful Bread is a cash/check only family run restaurant located in the Near South Neighborhood at 1625 South 17th Street.
This week, between bites of Cheese Scones and Moroccan Tomato Soup, I picked the brain of Cheyenne Flotree, front of house of this hip local joint.
What’s in a name?
Grateful Bread was the initial bakery started in 1992. Cheyenne’s explanation began with, “ Well, my mom was kind of a punk, and my dad was a hippie.” Cate Flotree sold baked goods with the help of her husband for several years. With the quippy name play reference, the Flotree parents sound like they were “Dead Heads” in their day. In 1998, the bakery moved into a brick and mortar storefront, adding macaroni and soup to the menu. It was during this time they also added Freakbeat Vegetarian to the name helping possible patrons understand the establishment offerings.
How is Grateful Bread/Freakbeat Vegetarian different than other local shops?
Cheyenne believes the café stands alone. While being completely vegetarian definitely sets the shop apart from others, Grateful Bread also has a different vibe than many local hot spots. The menu is inspired by southern soul food with influences from India and Morocco. Cate Flotree scours various recipes looking for inspiration for new menu items.
From the quirky décor to the daily menu change, Grateful Bread is definitely in it’s own league. The menu and potential shop closing dates can be found on the shop’s facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Grateful-BreadFreakbeat-Vegetarian/312793177888
Not sure what to try? The Lunch Room macaroni reminds me of homemade, but better. Moroccan Tomato Soup has the perfect amount of kick with a peanut undertone. Do not skip out on the baked goods! I always get a Classic Cheese Scone or cookie offered for the day.