Restaurant with vegan Krunch also offers meat options

Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette Mica Reynolds and Grant Geddes of Houghton enjoy their lunches Monday on the opening day of Krunch. The new Houghton restaurant offers vegan and meat options.

HOUGHTON — Paul Gemignani’s wife, a vegan, has a hard time finding food at restaurants.

She and other vegans in the Keweenaw will have less trouble now. Krunch, Gemignani’s new restaurant, opened Monday in Houghton with a vegan-heavy menu.

Gemignani, who owns Gemignani’s in Hancock, said he was also looking to expand from fine-dining to a more causal atmosphere.

“There’s a lot of people looking to be more health-conscious these days, so we felt like we could fill that niche,” he said.

Krunch is on M-26 in the location previously used by Hardee’s until November.

The menu includes sandwiches such as cashew burgers and bowl options such as teriyaki and curry. The all-vegan dessert menu includes rice pudding, cookies and gelato.

Gemignani’s wife has been trying the vegan dishes throughout the development.

“She was in earlier and got some food,” Gemignani said. “Everything has to pass her approval first.”

Meat-lovers aren’t left out. The menu also includes items like pork-belly sandwiches and the Messy Bess Burger, built around a third-pound, bacon-stuffed patty.

Chicken, beef and pork are also available as add-ons to the bowls.

“I love meat, so we spared no expense on that, either,” Gemignani said. “We tried to do that at a price point where everyone could approach it and have a good meal.”

The restaurant went from idea to reality in about three months, Gemignani said. He, his wife and the head chef put in long hours combing over the details.

“We were making changes down to yesterday, and I’m sure we’ll make tweaks as we go,” Gemignani said. “So far we’re pretty happy with how it turned out.”

Krunch was crowded Monday as people lined up for their first taste of the menu.

Mica Reynolds and Grant Geddes of Houghton were enjoying their respective lunches. Geddes got the shredded beef sandwich. Reynolds got the Jamaican bowl.

“I didn’t know it was vegan, but so far it’s good,” she said.