Vegan chain Otarian hasn’t been very well received in New York — its Greenwich Village location closed within a year of opening (there’s still one location left on Eighth Avenue) — and it’s fared even worse in London, recently shuttering that city’s two branches. Not everybody was sad to see Otarian go, but rather than take the high road and ignore its detractors, beginning today, Otarian’s Twitter feed took a shift from its previous upbeat, if preachy, tone ("Don’t u luv it wen ur not alone 2 save d planet?") to one so vicious it makes an angry David Chang look like a mensch.
Things started when London food blogger Chris Pople launched the hashtag #otarianwatch upon noting one day recently that a London location was totally empty. Today, Otarian lashed out against Popple via Twitter: "hope tht you find a job that pays u, ChrisPOOPle- ‘muft khori,’" (evidently the latter term means "freeloader" in Urdu).
Others who dared to tweet news of the London closure were also attacked, including @BurrupWatch, who was told "U deinitely hv the ‘small dick syndrome’- do u hv a job?do u own ur house or anythng- u peice of cheap s**t?u need help!" The severity of the shift caused some to speculate that the account had been hacked, to which Otarian rebutted, ominously: "its not hacked, its pay back time! u wil get what you deserve. No more BS from today."
And hey, as long as you’re going to go batshit crazy, why not bring up past grievances? References to previous accusations that Otarian is not the hyper-ecofriendly business it claims to be, since the whole thing is financed by Otarian founder Radhika Oswal’s husband, Pankaj, who’s made his billions in ammonia fertilizer, were addressed: "the sensible use of fertilisers 4 conventional farming is the only way through which the popln of planet … which is 7 billion can be fed-is that bad?" Actually, it’s a question that’s quite debatable, whether you recycle your cooking oil and have a carbon-neutral footprint or not.
Probably our favorite exchange occurred when blogger @tehbus tweeted: "I do wish I was married to a billionaire. My hotdog and burger restaurant dream could come into fruition." Otarian’s Twitter shot back, "God! did not want you to slaughter more animals, and that is why you are not married to a Billionaire." Oh, so that’s why. Grub Street had been wondering when our billionaire would come along, but we guess we like burgers too much.
The account has been silent for a few hours now, having either sobered up or gotten what it needed to out of its system. Though, after this post (not to mention that insane pork-belly sandwich we covered earlier today), we suppose we’re next. Keep your eye on things over on Twitter.