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Conflict Kitchen is moving Downtown, receives $25,000 Sprout Fund Root Award

Conflict Kitchen is bringing its globally-conscious cuisine to Downtown Pittsburgh.  The take-out kitchen has operated from a small window in East Liberty since 2010, offering a rotating menu of foods from countries around the world where the U.S. government is in conflict.
The food-meets-dialogue project received a $25,000 Root Award from the Sprout Fund last week, which will enable the downtown move (although a location has yet to be determined), add more kitchen space, and bring their meal-with-a-message to a more robust lunch crowd.  With these funds, Conflict Kitchen also plans to create an indoor space for hosting events and programming.

"The hope is in the interior to create a kind of convivial space for conversation [and] discussion as food is being eaten and distributed," says co-founder John Rubin.

This past Saturday, Conflict Kitchen re-launched its Iranian-based Kubideh Kitchen.  Most recently the restaurant had been serving Venezuelan arepas as La Cocina Arepa.  Rubin says this latest menu change was done in response to current world-geo politics.

Rubin says the award will allow Conflict Kitchen to change its menu more frequently in the future, and be more responsive to current world politics.

The Spout Fund's Root Award, which was supported by The Benter Foundation, is designed to build on a project's previous successes and enhance the project's sustainability.  It has been offered only twice before: to the Zany Umbrella Circus in 2007, and to Bike Pittsburgh in 2008.

Conflict Kitchen had previously been awarded a $7,000 seed grant from the Sprout Fund.  Mac Howison, Sprout Fund program officer, says his organization is exited to be able to support Conflict Kitchen’s culturally-current method of engaging global issues and the world political stage.

The restaurant’s lease ends in East Liberty in August, at which point the project plans to re-open downtown.  

Conflict Kitchen is currently located at124 S. Highland Avenue, and open 7 days a week, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Writer:  Andrew Moore
Source:  Mac Howison; John Rubin
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