Cafe – BB Veggie Sat, 15 Jan 2022 14:05:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Cafe – BB Veggie 32 32 ‘The missions are very complementary:’ Max’s Positive Vibe Café will not reopen but Natalie’s Taste of Lebanon will take over the space | Economic news Sat, 15 Jan 2022 14:05:00 +0000

“In a way, he paved the way. I’m very grateful that we can continue to do that. The missions are very complementary,” Irani said. “Natalie likes to say it’s pay it forward.”

The Positive Vibe Foundation, which ran the restaurant and the job training program, will continue to provide the job training, Larcen said.

This part of the foundation’s work will take place in the restaurant space of Natalie’s Taste of Lebanon. Training usually takes place in the morning, Larcen said.

It’s been a tough two years for Positive Vibe Café since the restaurant closed in March 2020, he said. Plans called for the restaurant to reopen twice in the past year, but the delta and omicron variants thwarted those plans.

“We were still trying to find a chance to reopen. Due to the number of employees we have compromised immunity, we had to be more careful than other restaurants due to exposure and risk,” Larcen said.

Being able to strike a deal with Natalie’s Taste of Lebanon to operate the restaurant and the Positive Vibe Foundation which runs the training program was the best possible outcome, he said.

Having a restaurant is important, he said, because it provides real hands-on experience for students. “That was one of the great things about having the restaurant because it served as a lab for the training program,” he said.

Linehouse designs space-themed cafe for Black Star Pastry in Shanghai Wed, 12 Jan 2022 11:00:00 +0000

Design studio Linehouse has combined stainless steel and meteorites to create a space-themed cafe in central Shanghai as the first Chinese outpost of Australian chain Black Star Pastry.

The ground floor of the red-brick villa serves as a café and pastry shop for Black Star Pastry, famous for selling a Strawberry Watermelon Cake dubbed “Australia’s most Instagrammed dessert” by The New York Times.

The coffee is Black Star Pastry’s first in China

Shanghai-based Linehouse designed the space to evoke the feeling of being in the space.

“The ground floor elicits the incredible sensation of being on board a spaceship,” the studio said.

Meteorites on shelves
Linehouse designed the store to evoke a spaceship

The studio covered the walls of the café with stainless steel shelves containing thousands of meteorites.

The shelf extends across the ceiling to form an arched shape that the studio described as “an exploration of gravity versus weightlessness.”

Black Star Pastry by Linehouse
A counter display holds nine floating cakes

Continuing this theme, a counter display showcases nine levitating cakes. Presented in glass containers, the rotating cakes are supported by magnetic levitation.

The phrase “we’re all just stardust” can be found on the edges of common tables, creating an effect of each letter dripping off the edge of the table by gravity.

Elsewhere on the ground floor, there are retail areas filled with coffee beans and clothing.

Terrazzo staircase
A terrazzo staircase leads guests upstairs to a dining area

A staircase clad in raw concrete terrazzo takes guests upstairs to an exhibition-style dining space called the Black Star Gallery.

It features works by four emerging international artists curated by Black Star Pastry’s creative director, Louis Li, to create an imaginary futuristic habitat.

The ceiling is lined with a metal grid. The flooring is terrazzo tile cast in raw concrete, giving the space a touch of wildness and creating a museum-like vibe for art.

The gallery can be used as a tea room in the afternoon and as a cocktail bar at night.

Blackened wood floors by Linehouse
Blackened wood covers the floors of the private bedroom

A private room named There There is separated from the main dining room by a deep blue velvet curtain. It contains an intimate bar wrapped in acid etched blue metal.

Blackened wood covers the floor of the room unlike the exposed concrete of the other spaces of the café. A curved stainless steel bottom keeps the wines on display.

Upstairs Gallery
Versatile gallery can be used day or night

Black Star Pastry was founded in Sydney, Australia in 2008 and is the creator of the Strawberry Watermelon Cake, the most Instagrammed cake in the world according to the New York Times. This is its first store outside Australia.

Linehouse was named Emerging Interior Designer of the Year at the 2021 Dezeen Awards. The studio’s recent projects include the conversion of a Shanghai office building’s swimming pool into additional workspace and a contemporary dim sum restaurant. in Hong Kong.

The photography is by Jonathan Leijonhufvud.

Project credits:

Art direction and artistic curation: Louis Li – Black Star Pastry
line house
Design team:
Alex Mok, Cherngyu Chen, Yeling Guo, Rongli Chen, Kaihang Zhou, Leah Lin
Levitating Cake Stand:
march studio
Brand graphics:
Studio Ongarato/Noritake
Commissioned artists:
Olivia Steele, Naoko Ito, Rowan Corkhill, Debbie Lawson
Realization of works:
black star pastry

Tropical Smoothie Café opens at Rocky Point, sparks big business Sun, 09 Jan 2022 23:48:22 +0000

It was quick.

Just months after construction began and prominent “Coming” signs on Route 25A at Rocky Point, the Hamlet’s new Tropical Smoothie Café opened this weekend.

And judging by the large crowd inside the store on Saturday, the community was pretty thirsty for his arrival.

There are now over 20 Tropical Smoothie Café locations across Long Island, with more expected in Shirley and Bayside. The one at Rocky Point is the first for new franchisee Christopher Bonanno.

Working behind the counter on Saturday, Bonanno described the opening as a “busy and crazy” affair.

Cars got into the car, as young adults rushed inside to order flatbreads, quesadillas, wraps, salads, sandwiches – and bejesus smoothies.

Employees rushed between the fruit and blender stations, stirring Acai Berry Boosts, Sunrise Sunsets, Island Greens, and a host of other fruit and veg-filled smoothie titles.

Some of the more recent food offerings available chain-wide for Rocky Point boutique customers include Grilled Smoked and Avocado cheeses. There’s also the new beach club, Thai chicken, and super green Caesar salads.

Bonanno said the establishment is “a change of pace” not only for him, but for the community where he expects it to be a success.

“We are happy to be at Rocky Point to serve the community,” he said.

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Italian restaurant moves into former Spindle City Cafe building Sat, 08 Jan 2022 10:01:11 +0000

Tony Coppola wants to offer the Gastonian community a culinary tour of Italy through an Italian restaurant he plans to open downtown this month.

The restaurant, Mangiamo, will be located at 207 W. Main Ave., where the sandwich shop, Spindle City Cafe, has served a host of lunches for nearly a dozen years.

“The food we serve has been a part of my family and my traditions for almost 35 years,” said Coppola.

Coppola, 48, was born in Trenton, New Jersey, but his family comes from a village near Naples, Italy called Monte di Procida.

Coppola started working in the food industry over 30 years ago and wants to bring Italian cuisine to the Gastonia and Belmont regions.

Following: Spindle City Cafe closes after 12 years in business

The restaurant will serve specialties for lunch and dinner, including lasagna and alfredo dishes, Italian paninis, wood-fired flatbreads and pizzas, etc.

Costs range as low as $ 7 for lunch options and up to $ 30 for dinner options.

Customers can also enjoy Italian and American dessert options like strawberry cheesecake, cannoli, tiramisu and more.

The restaurant will host Giro d’Italia dinners on the last Wednesday of each month, where guests can enjoy a seven-course Italian meal paired with Italian wine.

Classes will include traditional dishes from Tuscany, Sicily and other regions of Italy.

Customers must book in advance to attend.

“We want to give people a real taste of Italy,” Coppola said. “The chef and the floor manager will also be Italian. “

Coppola plans to create a family atmosphere with Mangiamo where the community feels comfortable eating together.

The restaurant also includes seating areas where guests can work remotely.

“Mangiamo means ‘let’s eat’ in Italian,” said Coppola. “It should remind you when a grandmother wants the family to come together to eat at the table.”

Coppola recommends trying the flat breads and wood-fired pizzas.

He appreciates local businesses like Morningstar Signs and Banners and Carpenter Ants and Home Improvement for helping his dream come to life on West Main Avenue.

“I hope people get a feel for the concept of Italy when they are here,” Coppola said.

The restaurant will be open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Saturday. The restaurant will be closed on Sunday.

Guests can reserve the restaurant space for special events on Sundays by contacting the restaurant at 980-289-1477.

Coppola plans to open the restaurant in mid-January 2022.

Contact Janiya Winchester at 704-869-1842 or

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D&J Café in Springfield, Ill. Has new business owner Thu, 06 Jan 2022 11:30:18 +0000

The New Year has brought a new owner for a neighborhood family restaurant and the closing of another.

Lee Rupnik bought D&J COFFEE, avoiding foreclosure proceedings on the 915 W. Laurel St. establishment which has been in the Price family since 1974. Meanwhile, on the east side of town, PIZZERIA GALLINA closed after four decades of serving authentic Sicilian pies at the Capital City Mall.

“The wife and I decided it was time to retire,” Vito Randazzo said Monday during a cleaning at 3133 S. Dirksen Parkway where he and his wife Dee had operated the family business since 1987.

Following: These restaurants are slated to open in Springfield in 2022

The Randazzo took over the business, initially opened in 1978 by Vito’s brother-in-law, Tony Gallina.

That same year, Tony’s brother Joe opened what is now known as JOE GALLINA in downtown Springfield. Joe Gallina’s operates at 432 E. Monroe St.

“We decided we had enough,” said Vito Randazzo, adding that New Years Eve was the last day of operations at the Capital City mall. “It was awesome. We had a bullet. But it was time to end it.

It looked like D&J Cafe was heading for the same spell until Rupnik intervened.

“I was aware of foreclosure issues and was able to work with the bank to buy it,” said Rupnik, who has been the owner of the cafe at the corner of State and Laurel streets since he was a child.

“It’s a tradition, to eat there with friends after school (at the Sacré-Cœur-Griffin), to go out with the family after mass.

“I’ve always liked the cookies and the sauce, but also the location. It is a very tight-knit neighborhood. I love the food but I love the neighborhood vibe even more.

Following: Springfield School District 186 plans in-person learning despite rising numbers of local COVIDs

Rupnik – who two years ago made a similar turnaround with LUCA PIZZA – is now the sole owner of D&J Cafe. The sale took place without shutting down the business, and Rupnik said he kept the same management and most of the servers.

There are plans to refresh the cafe and DoorDash will provide delivery service by the end of the month, but normal business hours will not be affected.

The hours are from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays, from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. on weekends.

“We look forward to inviting families again,” he said. “The only changes planned are more smiles and paint on the walls. The food is good. He doesn’t need work. Just the business side.

Dennis and Brenda Price opened the cafe in 1974.

Their sons John and Dennis Jr – whose initials provide the name of the café – took over the reins after their parents retired. John has been running the business solo since 2012.

Following: Amelia and Noah are Springfield’s most popular baby names for 2021

Rupnik also grew up on the Springfield food scene, though his purchase of Luca Pizza in January 2020 was his first foray into owning his.

Lee is only the third owner of Luca Pizza, which was opened by Salvatore and Anna Caro in 1977 as one of the first tenants of the White Oaks Mall.

Lee worked in the many establishments of his father Joe Rupnik, including THE DUBLIN PUB, and the old one VIC’S PIZZA and THE HOUSE OF PASTA CO.

And Grandpa John Rupnik Jr. is among the names attached to helping create and popularize Springfield’s signature dish – the horseshoe.

John Rupnik Jr. was an apprentice chef at the Leland Hotel when the original horseshoe – an elegant presentation of a slice of ham and wedge potatoes topped with Welsh rarebit sauce – was served as a special dish at the chic downtown hotel, according to the tome “Springfield’s Celebrated Horseshoe Sandwich.”

John Rupnik Jr. was the chef when the Leland was more laid back RED LION TAVERN opened with the horseshoe as a regular menu selection. Rupnik’s version of the dish was more like the modern horseshoe, with fries in place of potato wedges and multiple choices of meat toppings.

Lee Rupnik says he realizes he is moving forward carrying both his last name’s reputation and that of D&J Cafe.

“I worked the Sunday rush and at least 30 people thanked me for keeping it open,” he said. “I’m going to bring some lessons I learned from Luca’s turnaround. More support for staff. More communication with the customer.

Natalie Morris can be reached at 737-7254 or by email at

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Limited-time Pokémon Lapras Cafe in Miyagi Prefecture promotes tourism in northern Japan Sun, 02 Jan 2022 13:05:00 +0000

Like Lapras? Do you like the northern Tohoku region? Then you are in luck.

From manhole covers to countless collaborative products, Pokémon has partnered with Japanese tourism organizations to promote areas that are popular as well as those that may not be. One tactic has been to assign each prefecture a “Support Pokémon” – much like an Ambassador – and since 2019, Lapras has served Miyagi Prefecture in northern Japan.

Besides the collaborative goods, there are tourism hot spots that are even more worth visiting now thanks to Lapras’ presence. Until January 16, 2022, Pokémon Franchise Partners With Tourism In Northern Japan’s Miyagi Prefecture For A Limited Time Cafe Lapras. The cafe will feature ten adorable and delicious foods, drinks, and desserts featuring the Water-type Pokémon.

This Lapras seafood gratin plate, for example, has a Lapras-themed mashed potato.

Some menu items also include Geodude and Chansey, the official Pokémon ambassadors of Iwate and Fukushima prefectures, Miyagi’s neighbors to the north and south. For example, this Geodude Keema Curry features a Geodude-shaped mound of rice surrounded by keema curry and salad.

Looks like he’s in his natural habitat!

Each menu item is very focused visually, like this one Chansey Chirashizushi (basically like a mix served on a plate of different sushi items) that uses seafood ingredients for which northern Japan is famous.

▼ You can eat the colorful vegetables and seafood with Chansey rice.

And of course the desserts are something to look forward to, like these Blue Lapras Pancakes. They offer Zao cream cheese, a local specialty from another prefecture in northern Japan, Yamagata.

They also have ice cream and a bright blue sauce to garnish them.

Everything will happen at Cross B Plus Café in Sendai City. Reservations are required to dine inside the restaurant, but if you can’t grab one, some of the menu items are available to take out! After the cafe opens from the New Year holidays on January 4, you can get the Lapras Wave Pudding, as well as the specialties Lapras, Geodude and Chansey lattes, to take away.

▼ Slats are available for 680 yen (US $ 5.91) each.

Geodude latte is a Darjeeling tapioca latte, Lapras’s is a classic tapioca milk tea, and Chansey’s features berries mixed into tapioca peach tea.

▼ The pudding (pictured right) is 600 yen, and it comes already in an easy-to-carry jar!

So if you are in the area at the start of 2022, consider passing! And if you’re not, there are bound to be even more Pokémon-themed locations and events to look forward to in the New Year.

Coffee Information
Lapras Café Cross B Plus / ラ プ ラ ス Café Cross B Plus
Miyagi-ken, Sendai-shi, Aoba-ku Oomachi 1-1-30, Shin-sendai building 1st floor
1-30 1 階
Open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Closed from December 29, 2021 to January 3, 2022

Sources: PR Times, Lapras Miyagi
Featured Image: PR Time

Insert images: PR Times, Lapras Miyagi
Sources: PR Times, Laplace Miyagi
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Cannabis retailer Castro Flore Store opens while historic café Flore Fri, 31 Dec 2021 21:25:34 +0000

Castro’s newest cannabis retail store, Flore Store (258 Noe), is now open while the historic Flore neighborhood restaurant (formerly known as Café Flore) has been closed for two years.

Flore Store co-owner Terrance Alan told Hoodline the cannabis store officially opened on December 17.

“A short four and a half years in the making,” Alan said. “It’s a relief, and it’s weird because it’s my 25 year cannabis return to Castro.”

Flore Store is now open at 258 Noe St. | Photo: Steven Bracco / Hoodline

Hoodline readers may recall that Alan and his co-owner Luke Bruner had been working on the Flore Store opening since 2018.

Alan originally planned to open Flore Store on April 20, the unofficial national marijuana holiday, but those plans have been delayed by local and state licensing issues.

While Flore Store is now open, the 48-year-old restaurant in the historic Flore district has remained closed since it closed in December 2019.

An active listing for approximately 1,000 square foot restaurant space, including an offsite prep kitchen, for rent at an undisclosed price.

Café Flore is currently listed for rental. | Photo: Steven Bracco / Hoodline

Alan and his co-owner Aaron Silverman took over Café Flore in 2017, and despite the reduction in the café’s hours and menu, “we weren’t able to break even,” Alan told us last year. Alan also thought it might work better as a private event space, but that idea was dashed by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Alan tells Hoodline that he is currently in discussions with four or five potential operators, and that it is currently in the hands of the owner.

“The standards are very high,” said Alan. “We want someone who can breathe life into the 75 year old greenhouse, restore the fence and make the necessary upgrades to make the place last another 25 years.”

Alan is no stranger to the cannabis industry, he previously chaired the State Cannabis Legalization Task Force in San Francisco, where he advised the city on how to regulate the industry under of State Proposal 64. In 1996, Alan co-founded Californians Helping to Alleviate Medical Problems (CHAMP) whose offices were located at 194 Church Street (now Churchill) in the former home of the San Francisco Buyers Club of Dennis Peron.

He is also currently a member of the board of directors of Castro Merchants. But despite her qualifications, getting Flore Store approved was not easy.

Inside the Flore store. | Photo: Steven Bracco / Hoodline

In 2019, the town planning department gave the green light to several conditions, including the painting of a mural on the wall. Alan and Bruner have agreed not to use any cannabis or drug related graphics or advertisements on its facade. “The mural will not be cannabis-themed,” Alan told Hoodline. “It will be about this link between cannabis, AIDS, wasting syndrome, cancer and chemotherapy.”

The members of the Duboce Triangle Neighborhood Group (DTNA) set several other conditions for the opening of Flore Store. On-site cannabis consumption is prohibited and on-site security will be required during normal business hours, as well as 24/7 video surveillance.

Flore Store is the Castro’s third cannabis retailer, alongside the long-running Market Street Apothecarium and one-year-old Eureka Sky adjacent to Jane Warner Plaza. A fourth retailer, Rose Mary Jane, was recently offered just three doors away from The Apothecarium.

Alan says he supports adding Rose Mary Jane to the neighborhood. “We compete to deliver the best of everything: price, product and everything that is freshest,” Alan said. “If you’re in competition, your pencil stays sharp and that’s good for clients.”

Selection of cannabis-based products at the Flore Store. | Photo: Steven Bracco / Hoodline

Flore Store offers a variety of CBD infused drinks. | Photo: Steven Bracco / Hoodline

Alan tells Hoodline that Flore Store stands out from the crowd with its exterior design by Levy Art + Architecture and interior design by Dav Studio.

Inside, guests will find that the flooring is organic hemp grown in Kentucky, and the cabinets were made with hemp by an Oakland-based LGBTQ + designer.

Flore Store offers its customers a variety of cannabis products, including cannabis flowers, edibles, pre-rolls, vapes, drinks and concentrates, with a focus on family farms.

A mural on the north side of the building, facing the Noe & Beaver mini-park, has already been installed and is expected to be unveiled at the inauguration on February 14, 2022 (Valentine’s Day).

The fresco will be unveiled next year. | Photo: Steven Bracco / Hoodline

The new mural was designed by artist Dave Van Patten, who was selected following an international competition. Alan says they received 17 submissions, which were judged by local neighbors and art experts. The 35ft by 16ft mural has been digitally printed on vinyl and will be illuminated at night.

“This is the story of compassion around cannabis,” Alan said. “Where farmers in Humbolt would typically donate 10-20% of their harvest to Dennis Peron, CHAMP or other groups that allow compassion for cannabis to begin.”

“It really is a brilliantly told story of how Humboldt and San Francisco came together during a crisis,” Alan added. “But there is no cannabis in it.”

Flore Store is open 7 days a week from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m.

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Cafe Fina Owner Reflects On Friendship With Legendary NFL Hall Of Fame Member John Madden – KION546 Thu, 30 Dec 2021 05:29:04 +0000

MONTEREY, Calif. (KION) Football fans around the world continue to pay tribute to NFL Hall of Fame and Raiders legend John Madden, who died suddenly Tuesday at the age of 85.

The legendary football icon lived on the Monterey Peninsula and was a regular at a popular restaurant on Fisherman’s Wharf, where Madden and owner Dominic Mercurio created a friendship that will last nearly 30 years.

“During the offseason, he was here a lot. He was probably here during the off season, probably four days a week, ”said Dominic Mercurio, owner of Café Fina.

In fact, John Madden had his own table at Café Fina in Monterey, set aside when he stopped for a bite to eat, with a game strategy framed next to his seat.

“It was John’s favorite game, they called it the Lombardi Sweep,” said Mercurio, standing next to the table.

Mercurio, remembers the first time he saw Madden zigzagging across the dock, walking past the restaurant menu several times, looking for a bowl of clam chowder.

Madden returned a handful of Sundays thereafter. Around the 6th or 7th visit, he invited Mercurio and his friends to play poker.

“I told you to sit at the table, if you don’t like it don’t pay and come back,” Mercurio continued.

“I’m not going, I don’t play poker with John Madden. It is not possible. Different league. Another business, I’m a restaurateur, you know, I’m just starting out, ”Mercurio said with a laugh.

But just like that, the two became quick friends. “Same game, same rules, never lost, for 27 years,” said Mercurio.

When Madden was scheduled to be inducted into the Professional Football Hall of Fame in 2006, he called Mercurio with a unique opportunity.

“He said, ‘Hey Dom, would you be interested in making food in Ohio? Catering and cooking for my hall of fame, approximately 500 people. ‘ I said to John, “It would be an honor,” Mercurio explained.

Mercurio has returned to the Hall of Fame every year since and has crossed the country 13 times on the Madden bus. A handful of stories, like these, were shared as Mercurio reflected on decades of friendship.

“I will miss this guy… I will miss him,” Mercurio concluded.

CBS broadcaster and Central Coast broadcaster Jim Nantz spoke with “CBS This Morning” about Madden’s passing, calling him “a common man” who could relate to everyone.

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A spontaneous Somali lunch at Madina Cafe in Irving Tue, 28 Dec 2021 10:00:00 +0000

Spontaneity in meals is a rare occurrence these days. We all have a list of what to eat next, from social media feeds, recommendations from a trusted guide, or whatever our meal prep kits have planned for the week.

Recently, after a parent’s two hour flight delay, spontaneity landed me at a Shell gas station in Irving, where given the many options for wasting two hours, the default was to look for places to eat.

The closest restaurant (other than a Whataburger) was a Somali restaurant. A quick review of Google reviews looked at it as a “hole in the wall”, with “nice owners” and a “simple menu.” It was just a quarter of a mile down the street in a little mall. I had never tried Somali food before so a feeling of pure curiosity was sparked.

Click to enlarge

Two holes in the wall, one to order the other to collect food.

Felicia Lopez

The windows outside the restaurant are covered with large images of food. The left side of the door features the entrances while the right side has small bites. The pictures are colorful and awe-inspiring, but the dining room is anything but. The space is rather modest, with off-white walls, simple decorations, and a small, tight-fitting floor plan with tables in each corner. The “hole in the wall” observation is literal, although perhaps two holes are more appropriate: the top half of a door has been cut out where customers order and pay; then there is also a small window in the wall to pass food to customers.

A simple menu hangs on the wall and lists only 10 items. A small sign stuck to the wall advertises camel milk. Starters include a fish steak, whole fish, lamb, goat, beef suqaar, chicken suqaar and a quarter baked chicken thigh, served with your choice of rice or pasta and priced at $ 10 to $ 15. Sambusa, a fried savory pastry, is served with beef, vegetables or fish and costs between $ 1 and $ 1.50. A single paper menu brochure at the order table includes additional items like mandazi (fried donut), a popular morning item that sells out regularly.

‘Suqaar’ is a common Somali dish, a sauce made from meat and vegetables served over pasta, which originates from the Italian influence on Somali cuisine, rooted in the Italian colonization of Somalia in the late 1800s. until the 1900s.

Click to enlarge You might want to check out photos of the food outside of <a class=Cafe Madina if this is your first trip. – FELICIA LOPEZ” width=”760″ height=”570″/>

You might want to check out photos of the food outside of Cafe Madina if this is your first trip.

Felicia Lopez

While I waited for lunch, a constant stream of customers came and went. Many of them had called to place their orders, while two were dining at their own corner tables. A customer quietly finished his meal as I walked in and mentioned to the staff that this was their first visit among many. Another customer ordered his lunch in his native language, Somali. A postal worker down the street picked up his usual plate for lunch that day.

My meal was ready in about 15 minutes and was served in a heavy plastic foam box filled with noodles, meat and vegetables. The top layer was the beef suqaar, a freshly made combination of ground beef sautéed with onions, peppers and cilantro. Underneath the suqaar is a thin spaghetti mixed with a thick red sauce, with an additional sauce on the side.

At first it visually looked like an unlikely combination, almost like an Asian stir-fry over traditional Italian pasta. After taking a bite it all made sense and the dish is unique and amazing in itself. The suqaar was simple yet comforting, with a savory taste, a tender bite of beef and sautéed onions and peppers. The spaghetti, with perfect al dente pasta and fresh tomato sauce, was better than some of the local Italian dishes.

There was nothing left on my plate, delaying my planned lunch with my mom, much like the delayed flight that caused this whole experience. Perhaps this is a sign of dining with less planning and more spontaneity. Or maybe I should just plan my next trip to Irving and eat at Cafe Madina again.

Cafe Madina, 1820 Valley View Lane, Suite 130 (Irving). 972-871-7193. Monday to Saturday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., closed on Sunday

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Battle of Auckland café and restaurant owners hope for a better 2022 after a miserable year Sun, 26 Dec 2021 16:00:00 +0000

It has been a year of horror for Auckland cafe and restaurant owners, but stories of compassion and resilience have tempered their frustration with a government they say has abandoned them.

“Our industry is not in great shape at all,” says Krishna Botica, co-owner of four Auckland restaurants; Café Hanoi, Xuxu Dumpling Bar, Ghost Street and Saan. “I really feel like we took one for the team.”

The “we” are the Auckland hotel companies. The “team” is Aotearoa New Zealand.

“I really enjoyed serving my fellow Jafas this year,” Botica says. “I am incredibly proud of the Aucklanders. I have lived here all my life and have never been so proud.

Table service and dining are back in restaurants and cafes on December 3.

Phil Walter / Getty Images

Table service and dining are back in restaurants and cafes on December 3.

* The hotel industry in crisis: How to save our bars and restaurants?
* Gloom in hospo: “We look at the barrel of a dead summer”
* “Holding on”: Auckland hospitals welcome loosened restrictions amid concerns over long-term survival

But she struggled to ignore the lack of compassion of people in other parts of the country.

“I would like the rest of the country to walk in our shoes for a day,” Botica says.

“There is nothing worse than not being welcome in other parts of the country, even though they might want our money.

“We may be Jafas, but we are fiercely patriots. “

Krishna Botica shares the frustrations of many in Auckland's hotel industry at the lack of targeted government support.


Krishna Botica shares the frustrations of many in Auckland’s hotel industry at the lack of targeted government support.

It’s not just the fight against Covid-19 that has been difficult for Auckland hospital companies. Large transport projects drag on and banish custom.

Data from the credit bureau Centrix shows that hotel companies have the second highest rate of default, after only the real estate industry.

“We’re about to lose one. We know we can no longer take out loans, ”says Botica.

“That’s life. I don’t blame the government for it.


How vaccination helps prevent the spread of Covid-19 (English subtitles).

But she criticizes him for not supporting the Auckland hospital more.

The sector was almost desperate when the government decided to exclude cafes and restaurants from the $ 37.5 million “Explore Tāmaki Makaurau this summer” project, which provided 100,000 vouchers for attractions and discounts in Auckland.

The industry believes the project was based on the Restaurant Association’s Dine and Discover proposal.

“The government took the whole concept and took away the ‘dinner’,” Botica says.

Despite the challenges, there were some bright spots this year.

The restaurant staff had become very close-knit. Botica spent more time with her family. She has also seen the hospital industry relearn how to help each other.

“It’s a throwback to what it was about 20 years ago,” she says.

Renee Beijer, owner of Thirty Nine <a class=Cafe on Ponsonby Road, Auckland.” style=”width:100%;display:inline-block”/>


Renee Beijer, owner of Thirty Nine Cafe on Ponsonby Road, Auckland.

Rene Beijer, owner of Café 39 on Ponsonby Road in Auckland, will remember 2021 for a remarkable weekend of sector solidarity when peers from the hospo came down to his bar to give him a free makeover.

“It was super fun and cool,” Beijer says.

Beijer bought 39 Cafe in August 2020, just two days before Auckland began its second lockdown.

He spent his renovation money to stay afloat.

But once his story came out, Adam Neal, owner of The Broken Lantern in Ponsonby, organized the renovation through the nonprofit Choice Working Bee.

Café 39 after its bee renovation.

PROVIDED / Contents

Café 39 after its bee renovation.

“We survived for a year and a half under the most difficult conditions with tips for all budgets and incredible help along the way,” says Beijer.

“Even though it’s tough and we’re losing a ton of money, you still have to shake things up, or what’s the point?” “

The current restrictions on coronaviruses are proving difficult to live with, and January will be the test for many companies, he says.

Aucklanders leaving the city? Will people come out despite nerves over Covid-19? Will companies be able to find staff?

Real estate, hotel and transportation companies are among the missing payments on loans, according to Centrix from the data.


Real estate, hotel and transportation companies are among the missing payments on loans, according to Centrix from the data.

The question the country needs to ask is, “Do we want to keep a very important part of society – get out and enjoy your ‘third place’ – or do we want to let it fail?

“If we go into another lockdown, we’ll have to accept it. It’s a public health issue, ”Beijer says.

But, he adds: “I wish there was targeted support for our industry, rather than ‘Good luck to you.’

Gray Lynn's Bread and Butter bakery and café is owned by Isabel Pasch.  Before the confinements linked to Covid-19.  She had three coffees.


Gray Lynn’s Bread and Butter bakery and café is owned by Isabel Pasch. Before the confinements linked to Covid-19. She had three coffees.

Isabel Pasch, owner of Bread and Butter cafe and bakery in Gray Lynn in Auckland, said the year had been “pretty horrible”.

“We probably all thought the worst of Covid was over and we dodged a bullet, but this year made it clear that we didn’t,” she said.

“We lost two stores. We sold one at a loss and had to say goodbye to over 30 of our employees. We feel a lot smaller, but we are also optimistic. “

Pasch and his remaining staff know the bakery is financially sound and can operate even during shutdowns as it is an essential service.

“They are reasonably grateful for it,” she said.

“But it was difficult for a lot of the staff. They had weeks just for the wage subsidy. We’ve been able to reload here and there, but nothing lately, and it’s been tough.

Pasch said the government news was so bad that she eventually stopped listening to the daily announcements.


The long way back to Auckland’s Covid-19 strike center after months of blockages and construction delays.

The thing she wants most from the government over the coming year is a pandemic plan that protects the vulnerable, while allowing everyone else to keep the economy going.

“We should be focusing our protection and our efforts on the people who are really at risk, and not locking the whole country up because that risks crippling the economy completely,” Pasch said.

“We tried to protect vulnerable people by treating everyone as if they were vulnerable people. We can’t keep doing this forever.

She has no plans to expand her business.

“Until we stop the lockdowns and these severe restrictions, I won’t be opening anything new,” she said.

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