New name, new concept for Dayton’s first all-vegan restaurant

Molly Blackshear, co-owner of Café 1610 which closed its doors for the last time back in May, has given new life to the business under a new name — Bee Vegan. Founder and owner of Bee Vegan, Blackshear wants to continue evolving the brand into a go-to for vegan advice, food, merchandise and more.
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Molly Blackshear, co-owner of Café 1610 which closed its doors for the last time back in May, has given new life to the business under a new name — Bee Vegan. Founder and owner of Bee Vegan, Blackshear wants to continue evolving the brand into a go-to for vegan advice, food, merchandise and more.

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Dayton vegans and regular foodies alike saddened by the closure of the city’s first all-vegan restaurant this spring have reason to “bee” happy.

Molly Blackshear, co-owner of Café 1610 which closed its doors for the last time back in May, has given new life to the business under a new name — Bee Vegan. Founder and owner of Bee Vegan, Blackshear wants to continue evolving the brand into a go-to for vegan advice, food, merchandise and more.

Bee Vegan is making a slow and steady debut in the Dayton foodie circuit by appearing at pop-up events and filling special requests for vegan food trays, though more appearances and services are to come in the future, according to Blackshear.

ExploreCafé 1610 plans to close and ‘start over’ at the end of May

The best way for followers to keep up with Bee Vegan’s next event or appearance is to follow the pop-up’s Facebook page.

“I just wanted to encompass more than just food,” Blackshear said. “So, even if it’s showing people what to cook or telling them, you know, kind of, how to make things — that would be more of something that might happen as opposed to having like a brick and mortar.”

However, the business is still in its infant stages, Blackshear said. She didn’t rule out the possibility of a standalone restaurant in the future.

Café 1610 originally opened on Labor Day weekend in 2020 inside the District Provisions building at 521 Wayne Ave.

With the rebirth of Café 1610 under a new name and new concept, Blackshear wants to continue her mission of increasing the options for vegans in Dayton. And as more big corporations join the plant-based movement, she said it’s important to continue educating people on the healthiest ways to participate in the movement.

“It’s something I’m really passionate about because I’ve been plant-based in some way, shape or form since birth,” Blackshear said.

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