US musician and DJ Richard Hall is better known to millions of dance fans as Moby, whose 1999 Grammy Award-winning album, “Play”, was a global smash hit.
He’s also a vegan, animal rights activist and restaurateur, running Little Pine in Los Angeles, which he describes “as a vegan restaurant in a baffling little art-deco building in Silver Lake”.
It’s vegan and organic, and any profit is donated to animal welfare organisations.
Moby says the reason he opened Little Pine was “to take a bunch of the things I care about: food, community, veganism, architecture and design, and represent them in one space”.
But like many working in such a demanding and highly competitive industry, the musician has questioned why he’d even bother to “jump through 20,000 bureaucratic hoops” when “at the end of all this, if you’re lucky, you’ll break even. Maybe.”
Moby has been vegan for 29 years and 15 years ago, gave up alcohol, recounting to New York magazine’s Grub Street this week how he was in New York, hung-over, and made a smoothie that made him feel better.
“Then I got sober, and I kept making these smoothies, adding ingredients and researching what should be in them,” he recounts in the regular Grub Street Diet feature, in which celebrities recount what they ate and drank for a week.
Moby’s daily breakfast smoothie consists of kale, broccoli, purple cabbage, beet greens, strawberries, turmeric, ginger, banana, cranberries, and DHA oil, if you too are keen try it. And he tries to eat at Little Pine a couple of times a week, which led him to muse of what it’s like running a restaurant to Grub Street Diet.
His analysis should give any aspiring MasterChef candidate who wants to run their own restaurant pause for thought saying he’d stage an intervention to stop them. The musician concludes simply burning your cash would be preferable.
Here’s Moby’s take:
I sometimes will compare it to writing a book, making a record, or making a movie — at some point, the work is done.
But if you open a restaurant, you work really hard, and then it has to be perfect 12 to 14 hours a day, seven days a week, forever. And the climate has to be perfect, the design has to be perfect, the food has to be perfect, and it all has to be legal, every single second of every day that you’re open.
If you’re really lucky, you break even. When I hear people say that they want to open a restaurant, I want to stage an intervention. Because I like my restaurant a lot — it’s a beautiful space, the food is really good — but if it wasn’t ideologically driven, I would not run it.
Doing it for purely entrepreneurial reasons, I don’t know why anyone would do that, unless you’re super smart, like Keith McNally. But for almost anyone else, it’s probably easier and less stressful to just burn your money in the front yard.
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