SAN FRANCISCO—On October 20, Filipino vegan restaurant, Nick’s on Grand closed their doors in South San Francisco due to the Coronavirus pandemic and is revamping as a delivery service.
Chef Reina, formally ‘Nick’s on Grand,’ will offer a delivery service that will include care packages, dishes from their original menu, and pre-packaged Vegan Filipino “Meats.” Owner Reina Montenegro will also be hosting virtual food demos and cooking classes after the relaunch.
After four years under the brand ‘Nick’s Kitchen,’ Montenegro decided to pay homage to her heritage and journey.
“Being an immigrant, a person of color and not having immediate family close by has been challenging,” Montenegro wrote in a press release. “But it has also made me courageous in time of uncertainty.”
Montenegro indicated she hid behind the branding of ‘Nick’s’ for so long and exhausted herself trying to explain who Nick was. “The whole time it was me,” she said. “It was just a matter of time before life brought me to this point.”
Born and raised in Dumaguete City on the Philippine island of Negros, Montenegro prides herself as being self-taught in the kitchen. In 2012, she decided to quit her corporate job of 10 years and follow her passion for food and cooking.
Montenegro opened her first restaurant ‘Nick’s Kitchen’ in Daly City in 2016. Struggling to attract customers, she made the decision to transform into a 100 percent plant-based restaurant. A second location ‘Nick’s on Grand’ in South San Francisco and a third location ‘Nick’s on Mission,’ in the Pilipino Cultural Heritage District, opened its doors shortly after. All locations are now closed.
Montenegro noted she is excited to share herself through the food without a mask or pretense. She told the San Francisco News that people, especially women, should not be afraid to achieve their dreams.
“Anything is possible,” Montenegro said. “If you align with your belief system, everything else will follow.”