Updated April 29, 2019. Amy’s Drive Thru, America’s first vegetarian drive-thru, is set to open its third location. The new spot will be in Walnut Creek, California.
Like its original drive-thru in Rohnert Park, menu items — like pizzas, burgers, shakes, and macaroni and cheese — will be available in both vegan and veggie format.
Amy’s Takes Over Denny’s
The announcement of the third spot follows closely on from work beginning on the chain’s second location in Corte Madera, California. The second restaurant takes over the site of a former Denny’s, an American diner chain.
Corte Madera previously banned conventional drive-thrus which focused on meat and dairy products.
In a bid to persuade commissioners to allow Amy’s to set up shop, Illeana Brown of Mill Valley said at a public hearing, “It’s the only restaurant where I can actually eat at without having to worry about getting sick.” Brown added she travels out to Sonoma County just to dine on the food at Amy’s.
“It’s really hard to find good vegetarian food around here, especially going out,” teenager Katie Shell told the commissioners. “[A]nd that’s because lots of places don’t have any vegetarian entrees on the menu.”
Demand for Amy’s
Amy’s launched in the 1980s, selling packaged frozen meat-free goods including pizzas, burgers, burritos, and mac and cheese. It became one of the best-selling natural food brands in the country.
The brand opened its first drive-thru location in 2016. “We started and we’ve been surprised by how successful and well-received it is,” said Amy’s co-founder Andy Berliner at the hearing for the Paradise Drive spot.
Co-founder Rachel Berliner added, “We’ve gotten a lot of letters and emails from all over the country asking us to put a drive-thru in their town.”
Last year, Amy’s revealed it hopes to open six more locations across the U.S. in 2019. With the Walnut Creek location confirmed, five more are left to be announced.
A consultant speaking before the five-member panel said that Amy’s food also offers a lowered environmental impact. “What we found is that an Amy’s meal has half the greenhouse gas emissions of a traditional restaurant meal,” they said.
The second and third restaurants will feature solar energy, a “living vegetative roof,” reclaimed wood, and entirely compostable food packaging. The Rohnert Park location also features a water-tower that collects rainwater.