Moby opened his first vegan cafe in New York in an effort to save his relationship with girlfriend Kelly Tisdale.
The dance music superstar, who has since severed ties with TeaNY and now owns Los Angeles diner Little Pine, admits he would never have known the joy and frustrations of running an eatery had it not been for 9/11 and the need to keep a romance alive.
"Two weeks after September 11, 2001 my then-girlfriend and I were thinking about what we could do to save our relationship and also make some sense of living in a decimated lower Manhattan," Moby explains in an essay written for the new issue of Playboy magazine.
"Our first thought was that because we truly loved alcohol we would open a bar... Then we thought we'd have a baby. But we were both doing obscene amounts of drugs and had managed to break up once a week for the previous two years, so having a baby seemed like it might be problematic."
The former couple eventually decided to open "a vegan cafe", even though neither had any experience of running such a venture. They found an empty storefront on a stretch known for its heroin street trade and moved in.
Moby and Kelly's relationship ended for good as they were renovating the place, but TeaNY took off and "somehow succeeded", and when Moby cut ties years later and moved to Los Angeles, he discovered he actually missed the old place and opened a new cafe in trendy Silver Lake.
"I didn't miss the dysfunction or the larcenous employees or the junkies OD'ing in the bathroom," he writes, "but I missed having a space where I could present vegan food in a way that didn't make meat eaters run away in horror."
"Owning and running a restaurant is hard and expensive and largely frustrating," Moby concludes, "but when I walk into Little Pine and see a room full of people eating vegan food and flirting and drinking and talking, it warms my little grinch heart and makes me truly happy."