The Green Lion announces a period of hibernation

The Inner West is saying a temporary farewell to The Green Lion's retail menu. Photo: The Green Lion/Facebook.

Sacha Joannou from vegan Sydney institution The Green Lion talks to Elizabeth Usher about temporarily hitting pause on serving meals to the public.

For the second time since the pandemic began, vegan Sydneysiders are having to say goodbye to a local favourite, vegan pub grub outlet The Green Lion. Citing the current restrictions and uncertainties around operating a retail food outlet, The Green Lion will be closing to the public and focusing on their wholesale range until further notice.

The silver lining is that, although their famous burgers, loaded fries and thickshakes are no longer on the menu, thankfully the frozen meal range ‘Take Me Home I’m Vegan‘ will still be available.

An example of the Take Me Home I’m Vegan range. Photo: The Green Lion/Facebook.

The news was announced yesterday via a Facebook post, and, as Sacha Joannou told the Sentinel over the phone, it was not an easy choice. 

“I’m heartbroken just by having to make this decision, it’s really difficult, but with the current restrictions and uncertainty in terms of being able to open to the public and have people dine there we’ve decided that we could serve the most amount of people by focusing on our wholesale products,” he said.

He went on to explain, “It’s also about the safety of our staff and limiting the amount of people at the production facility so we can keep that on track and we feel that’s the best way to serve our customers.  We have to narrow our focus to make sure we get through this period.”

The Green Lion’s Chalder Street, Marrickville venue will continue as a wholesale production facility only until further notice. Photo: The Green Lion/Facebook.

This development closely follows the departure of Joannou’s co-founder Bhavani Baumann, who is parting ways with The Green Lion after almost five years building the brand together, with her farewell announcement stating, “I have loved and adored my time with The Green Lion, your support, encouragement and friendships have made it one of the most rewarding and memorable experiences of my life.  I’m sad to leave but look forward to another Chapter … The Green Lion has a huge part of my heart and I wish it every success in the world.”

Bhavani’s farewell post image. Photo: The Green Lion/Facebook.

Anyone within cooee of Marrickville has one final (for now!) chance to order from The Green Lion takeaway menu today (Saturday, 3 July, 2021) from midday to 9pm. 

After that, Australia’s vegan community – and anyone who is looking for some great plant-based food options! – can still access the products from companies such as Harris Farm, The Vegan Grocery Store, select IGA stores, Go Vita, Tom’s Superfruit Superstore, Rainbow Organics and more. 

Visit www.thegreenlion.com.au/#stockists for the full list of stockists.

I snuck in one final takeaway order last night – including this vegan cheeseburger. Photo: Elizabeth Usher.

Elizabeth Usher is the Sydney Sentinel‘s vegan editor.