It’s Our 44th Anniversary!
February 5, 2019

On our 44th anniversary, we are celebrating by giving a complimentary glass of prosecco to the first 44 people who come to dinner on Tuesday, February 5, 2019. *You must be 21 years or older to receive the prosecco toast.

Around this time in 1975, Raleigh welcomed its first vegetarian restaurant – Irregardless Cafe. Even then, Arthur Gordon aimed to foster a community that was committed to sustainable ideas including buying locally-sourced ingredients and waste recycling.

The 80s marked Arthur Gordon’s release of a cookbook called “The Irregardless Cooks”, published for all the home-chefs who want to learn how to make eco-friendly, vegetarian and international foods! Also, Irregardless banned smoking – and was the first restaurant in the “Tobacco” state to do it! Arthur believed in standing up for what he believed in and promoting clean indoor air quality for patrons and staff was fundamental to his vision. Twenty-five years later in 2010, North Carolina passed legislation banning smoking in all restaurants in the State.

By the late 90s, Irregardless Cafe was known for serving inclusive meals for every lifestyle – from vegans, vegetarians, pescatarians, and carnivores. The most prominent event during this decade was in 1994, when the Cafe suffered a fire and closed for 11 months to rebuild. During this time, fearing for the fate of his long term employees while closed, Arthur continued to pay them their current wages in exchange for their volunteering for local charitable organizations that supported the community. Irregardless’ misfortune became a blessing for the fledgling Interfaith Food Shuttle, enabling it to collect day old foodstuffs to be served to the hungry.

In 2000, the Cafe started serving Thanksgiving dinner and was open on major holidays. The Carry-Out dinners were launched to provide the community with inexpensive, hassle-free meals during the holidays.

In 2012, the Cafe went solar to use renewable energy for water heating and purchased The Well Fed Community Garden to bring their “locally-sourced ingredients” ethos to the next level.

Now, in its 44th year, with Arthur Gordon standing as Raleigh’s longest-running restaurant with the same owner, we invite you all to celebrate with us on Tuesday, February 5th. Whether you’re new or a long-standing patron, we want to share our success and happiness with our community that helped keep us going through thick and thin.

Read our full timeline.