Kiwi Café sits on the outskirts of Tbilisi, the capital city of the former Soviet republic of Georgia. It is the type of vegan bistro that serves veggie burgers and falafel, with posters on its walls advertising homemade lemonade and a variety of teas in a black marker scrawl. Pro-animal-rights slogans — “Meat’s not green” and “Animal testing breaks hearts” — dot the windows between its lime-colored facade. Neither the cafe nor its pierced and dreadlocked patrons would elicit a second glance in, say, Portland or Brooklyn. But to some local Georgians who share their capital city with the restaurant, the Kiwi Café is an unconventional — and possibly unwelcome — liberal establishment.
“I do not like that Kiwi place,” the owner of a local Tbilisi business told a Vice reporter. “They put things in their hair, their skin…”