Interview by Angel Contero
Article by Celinda De La Fuente

Carne Guisada Tacos. Buffalo Chikn Mac. Frito Pie. Peaches N Creme Waffles. Pozole. Are you hungry yet? We are not done: Spirit-Free Cocktails, CBD or Delta-8 infused. Como tu quieres. Located on the Southside at 5007 S. Flores, Hash Vegan Eats is San Antonio’s first dry bar and vegan eatery. Wait…what? Vegan food? On the Southside? Brothers Rogelio and Michael Sanchez, owners of Hash Vegan Eats, are often confronted by this…conundrum, if you will, though it is their mission to make veganism and sobriety commonplace for their gente and their community, and not a question of confusion. Out of the tumultuous fires of personal addiction and alcoholism, now both 8 years sober and 7 years vegan, the Sanchez Brothers especially knew that options for the sober and recovery community were definitely lacking in their neighborhood and wanted to be the change…to be the light of the Southside, by uplifting others, creating unity, and a new way of living, while continuing to support local businesses and their community in the process.
Nearly twelve years ago, Rogelio and Michael Sanchez lost their mother to cirrhosis of the liver; the real disease being addiction. Their grandfather also suffered the same end. The Sanchez Brothers, however, are breaking this generational default, in part by healing spiritually, mentally, and physically. Therefore, Hash has become that safe alternative for those who are struggling with their addiction, or simply a comfortable environment with delicious mocktails and savory food for a nice night out. And speaking of their comida sabrosa, their desire for physical wellness, and their love and compassion for animals and the environment is the driving force behind their veganism. And guess what, vegan carne guisada tacos at this eatery tastes like carne guisada tacos, gente!

In the spirit of their late mother, Rogelio and Michael Sanchez are two incredibly giving and caring individuals, in so making dining at Hash Vegan Eats a whole experience. Great people. Great food. All for a great cause.

Q:What is HASH?
A:Hash is SA’s first Spirit-Free bar & vegan eatery. Featuring the largest selection of craft NA brews, delicious vegan food & legal cannabis options. We are working on becoming SA’s first Cannabis consumption lounge.

Q:Why did you decide to open a nonalcoholic bar?
A:As former alcoholics, we wanted to create a safe space for people in recovery, as well as the sober curious. However, we attract everyone with our delicious craft mocktails that you can infuse with CBD or DELTA-8 THC.

Q:What is CBD & DELTA-8?
A:CBD & DELTA-8 are naturally forming cannabinoids in the HEMP plant. CBD is non-psychoactive & DELTA-8 is psychoactive. Both are 100% legal and useful in addressing different ailments such as stress, social anxiety, back pain, headaches, etc.

Q:Why did you choose to open on the Southside?
A:As fellow Southsiders, we understand the importance of seeing your reflection in your community. As we grew up we noticed that we viewed the world differently & challenged cultural norms. Alcoholism, Sexism, homophobia & bad diet are ingrained in the hispanic community and it needs to be addressed. We believe people do better when they know better, they just need to be shown new options in a cool familiar environment. We just want to help start the healing process in the community.

Q:What inspired the concept?
A:The idea to open a safe space for people in recovery or curious about sobriety came from the loss of our wonderful mother. She was an amazing human and lived a wild life. She expressed love relentlessly to everyone she came into contact with. While she was an extraordinary person, she dealt with past traumas by turning to drug & alcohol addiction. Eventually she succumbed to her disease and passed into the ether around 12yrs ago. After her passing
I dove head first into drugs & alcohol, destroying my life to the point that I was living in my car out of a small backpack. Eventually, after 30 times of trying to get sober I was able to finally stay sober. What happens in the beginning stages of recovery is you almost need to become a recluse. The world around you is circled around alcohol so much that everyday experiences often include being offered an alcoholic drink, which is an incredible trigger to people in recovery, especially someone fresh into recovery. With that in mind we wanted to create a space to facilitate that safe environment, because we feel that if this kind of space existed for us, our mother or anyone else struggling with addiction it could by default help save lives.

Q:What is special about HASH?
A:Not only is HASH the first ever concept of it’s kind, we also focus on uplifting other entrepreneurs, creators & performers. We work with amazing local vendors such as: TEANESS (Latina owned organic teas) KUNG FU KITTY KAT CLUB (Black owned vegan cookie company) GLAMARIS CAKES (Latina owned dessert company) ELEMENT KOMBUCHA (SA’s first ever kombucha company owned by some amazing humans) ETERNO STEELO CULTURE (Latino owned clothing brand centered on latino culture. We also make our own VEGAN PHISH, CHIKN, CARNE GUISADA, WAFFLES, BROWNIES & CBD BANANA BREAD.

Q:Who are you guys?
Rogelio G Sanchez (Sober 8yrs Vegan 7yrs)
Michael R Sanchez (Sober 8yrs Vegan 7yrs)
We’re just 2 brothers from the southside. We grew up by SSHS in a very poverty stricken area. Both of our parents were drug dealers, addicts & alcoholics our entire childhood. Pre-covid we were event producers & have produced some of the biggest events in the city, including MICHELADA MADNESS, SA VEGFEST, YES FEST, TOUR DE JAH & PLANNING TO LAUNCH SIN-CARNE-VAL (post covid).

Q:Why did you go sober?
A:We were alcoholics. It’s something that was passed down through generations in our family. Our grandfather & mother both passed away from it. Michael likes to say “alcoholism ran in our family until it ran into us!”
We have to break these generational curses by addressing the core root issues & that is dealing the systemic causes of drug & alcohol abuse. Systemic poverty & poor diet choices are often contributed to higher levels of addiction, domestic abuse and mental health issues that help perpetuate them. We have small outreach programs that we use to create a relationship with our community members, especially those who are houseless & need assistance. We truly believe that the power of outpouring love and compassion can change the world.

Q:What made you go vegan?
A:Initially it was for my physical health. We’re both cyclists & quickly realized that our performance lagged when we ate meat as opposed to a plant based meal. Eventually our love and compassion for animals took president the more we learned about how our dietary choices dictated the factory farming industry. Really focusing on the reduction of animal suffering by not only eating vegan, but promoting veganism to the masses and underserved communities. Veganism is also much more sustainable than our current means of food production which wastes about 900 gallons of water to yield 1 lb of beef or a total of 6 months of showers. So basically we just wanna reduce unnecessary harm to the environment & fellow earthlings.

(Photos from top to bottom: 1) A photo of their mom hangs above the entry door. 2) Bartender Roel @nitecrawlers preps and serves CBD mocktails 3,4,5,6) Flavorful Vegan Eats. Photos by LPT staff.)