Vegan restaurant plants second location in Williamsport

Apr. 29—DANVILLE — PB+J Bar is a vegan restaurant and juice bar on Mill Street that can almost make you forget you are enjoying nothing but plant-based foods and treats.

Breakfast, dinners, smoothies and desserts offer original flavors and textures.

Given the increasing number and popularity of vegan and vegetarian choices, it should come as no surprise that PB+J's has been successful to the extent that owners Christian and Shannon Force recently opened a second location at 1786 E. Third St., Williamsport.

PB+J Bar is their first go as restaurant owners, Shannon said.

"We've both been servers and we've both been in management positions. The decision to open such an eatery came out of the fact that so many of our friends and people we consulted with were also plant-based eaters and they needed someplace to eat. So we ended up opening our restaurant four years ago."

Both Christian and Shannon are vegans. "We identify as plant-based eaters," Christian explained. "We do our best to minimize the use of animal products."

The definition of vegans can be confusing. "We are vegetarians, although some vegetarians usually keep some animal products in their diet. We do not."

The whole vegan concept is what scares some people off, Christian said. "But what we try to get across is that you don't have to be a vegan to enjoy plant-based food. It is simply food prepared differently. That's all it is."

"We encourage people to come in and experience food prepared differently. This is what we are trying to say," Chrisitan explained.

"Although we are marketed as a vegan restaurant, we want everyone to know we are that safe space that someone with a dairy allergy doesn't have to ask. They will know we have no dairy, milk-based products in-house. We market that idea. However, that sometimes scares away 'meat eaters,' even though with meat and potato eaters, potatoes are vegan. They are plants."

"We welcome everyone," Christian continued. "And this food tastes good to everyone. We don't want you to compare our burger to a normal burger. It is prepared differently, with different spices."

Christian and Shannon both worked in the fitness and nutrition industry and "decided to start feeding ourselves and our clients," Shannon said. "We opened on March 1, 2020, and everyone knows what happened on March 17, when COVID shut the world down."

They were so new at running PB+J, they had to learn fast to survive. "We immediately went takeout and had to lay off some staff," Christian said. "We tried different ideas to survive and through that adaptation over 2-and-a-half years, we survived COVID, and here we are," with a strong, growing loyal local following.

Their biggest sellers are smoothies, Shannon said. "Everyone wants smoothies, fresh-pressed juices. They are the most common things people ask for when they come in and are not sure what they want to get."

The smoothies are all banana-based and they mix with either strawberries, blueberries and strawberries, mango, coconut, peaches, and cream. A blueberry with espresso added to it is another option on the menu.

But PB+J serves everything, from breakfast, tacos, burritos, a falafel, a Reuben, or a straight-up burger.

A vegan burger is our signature offering, Shannon said. "We make the patties ourselves using the un-beetable brand."

All products are locally sourced, Christian said.

PB+J Bar, at 554 Mill Street, Danville, is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. most days, with the exception of Sundays when it is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Wednesdays, when it is closed.

The new Williamsport PB+J is located at 1786 E. Third St., and open every day from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.