About a month ago, Yellow Deli started hawking Reuben sandwiches, veggie burgers and fresh-squeezed juice from its Boulder kitchen at 908 Pearl Street. But that's not all the menu offers: It also serves the Fruit of the Spirit -- a biblical term that encompasses the nine visible attributes of a true Christian life: love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance.
The place is part of a Chattanooga, Tennessee-based chain that's owned and operated by the Twelve Tribes, a religious sect started by Gene Spriggs in the early 1970s. The organization, frequently dubbed a cult, has come under fire for its practices, which some outsiders and ex-members perceive as racist, anti-homophobic and abusive to women and children. The group -- including the team that runs the Boulder outpost of Yellow Deli -- is open about its actions, which are culled from a strict interpretation of the Bible. And it also says many of those critical accounts are exaggerated -- and that curious patrons should come in to the eatery and ask about the faction's philosophies before condemning it based on information on the web.
The team at Boulder's Yellow Deli is happy to engage any customer who inquires about the Twelve Tribes, though employees won't be actively trying to cram a side of religion down diners' throats with their sandwiches and salads. "We're not putting what we believe on other people," Joseph "Dayag" Fisher, one of the place's managers, told the Boulder Weekly.
The spot, which serves up salads, soups and desserts, in addition to sandwiches and juice, posts interesting hours: It's open non-stop from noon on Sunday till 3 p.m. on Friday, and is closed Friday evening through Sunday morning.
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