|If you go|
|V Revolution is at 3570 S. Logan St. in Englewood. It’s open seven days a week from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m.|
Aspiring franchise founder HaoTing Wang wants to expand people’s culinary horizons and help them save the planet. Also known as Howard Wang, the Aurora resident opened V Revolution, a fast casual restaurant in Englewood serving plant-based Asian fusion dishes, in 2020.
“We wanted to introduce people to a different way … the veggie revolution,” Wang told Colorado Community Media.
There, in his 2,300-square-foot eatery near the intersection of Hampden Avenue and Logan Street, familiar favorites like orange chicken, pad thai and Mongolian beef are made with meat alternatives instead of animal products. Vegans and nonvegans alike comment on how similar the texture and taste is to the beef or chicken or shrimp it’s replacing, Wang said. In addition to noodle dishes, rice bowls, and salads, the restaurant also offers bao — steamed buns wrapped around colorful savory fillings that resemble soft, puffy Asian-style tacos.
The idea for V Revolution came to Wang when he was an undergraduate college student nine years ago. He noticed the world’s attention was focused on ways to reduce its carbon footprint. His research on the subject led him to believe that a vegan diet was better for the planet than its meat-filled counterpart. And growing up in Taiwan, where Buddhism and other religions influenced the food culture, Wang was familiar with plant-based cuisine.
“We already have a lot of vegan or vegetarian food in our culture,” he said.
Wang, and his idea, moved to Colorado in 2015 where he pursued a master’s degree in sports administration at the University of Northern Colorado. He took the lessons he learned there about business management and applied them to starting a restaurant.
Because it opened during the first year of the coronavirus pandemic, nearly everything V Revolution made was for take out or food delivery orders in the beginning. Now, as it finishes its third year in operation, to-go is still important but dine-in orders make up about 40% of the business as customers opt to take advantage of V Revolution’s spacious dining room. With a high ceiling, exposed ductwork and a concrete floor, the venue has an industrial feel. But touches of wood, a mural of Denver in coral and blue-gray hues, and a wall of windows adds warmth — especially on a sunny Colorado day.
The menu has evolved since the restaurant’s inception. Initially, it was 70% vegan and 30% vegetarian, Wang said, but it’s now 95% vegan. Only a few items contain animal products. The katsu, for example, still uses egg whites as one of its ingredients.
V Revolution’s sauces were revamped last year while standardizing recipes and back-of-the-house processes as part of its preparation to expand. Wang said he’d like to open a second location next year and more after that. Ultimately, it’s his goal to franchise V Revolution and spread the idea that reducing meat consumption can positively impact the world.
“We have to be big enough to really influence the culture, to fulfill our mission,” he said.