Vegan fast food restaurant set to replace The Den in spring 2020


Bella Ross

Plant Power, which is set to replace The Den next year, features an all-vegan menu with items such as hamburgers and shakes.

by Johann Derek Oribello, Staff Writer

Vegan fast food restaurant Plant Power is set to replace The Den by Denny’s sometime next year, SDSU Dining announced on Feb. 1.

SDSU Dining Director Paul Melchior said the restaurant was initially planned to be part of South Campus Plaza instead of it’s newly planned location across from the campus transit center.

“Plant Power was actually one of the original ideas when South Campus Plaza opened up before all the vendors were chosen,” Melchior said. “But for a variety of reasons, at the time it just wasn’t the right time.”

Regardless, mutual interest between the vegan restaurant and SDSU Dinings remained.

“They were still interested and we were still interested because it’s a 100 percent vegan option and we didn’t have a restaurant on campus that’s 100 percent vegan,” Melchior said. “So, when The Den opened up, the conversations restarted.”

The new restaurant offers a variety of food options, such as hamburgers, fries and shakes, with purely vegan ingredients.

Political science senior Pablo Mendoza said he’s glad the new restaurant will offer more “green” food to serve SDSU’s diverse student body.

“We have Panda Express and other fast food places on campus, but we don’t have a green fast food spot,” Mendoza said. “Trader Joe’s is one of the only choices in South Campus Plaza that’s green but it isn’t fast food. I’ve never had Plant Power before, but I think it’ll be something new for the students to try.”

Electrical engineering junior Michael Bukowski said he appreciates the school’s efforts toward providing alternative food choices, but is disappointed The Den had to be shut down.

“There isn’t really a lot of vegan options on campus,” Bukowski said. “So, in one sense, it’s a good thing (the school) is supporting some type of vegan option for people who are vegans. On the other hand, I think it’s sad that The Den is closing. It is a pretty big staple in our SDSU culture.”

Melchior also said the introduction of the South Campus Plaza restaurants shifted a lot of sales and created increased competition for older campus restaurants. As a result, places such as The Den by Denny’s could not compete and had to be shut down.

“All the places that accepted meal plans before South Campus Plaza have all lost a little bit of sales,” Melchior said. “So, (the introduction of South Campus Plaza) shifted the sales there.”

Melchior said SDSU Dining does not yet have a definitive date for Plant Power’s arrival, but it is planned to open during the spring 2020 semester.