In the first week of July, the founders of the underground
Bona Sera Supper Club
will be daylighting with a new brick and mortar eatery, the Bona Sera Café. The two women are putting the proceeds of a $1,000 grant from micro-philanthropy group A2Awesome
toward its opening in the Mix Marketplace at 200 W. Washington St. in downtown Ypsilanti.
"It was getting to the point where we had a pretty high demand for our dinners, and finding venues with commercial kitchens was getting harder and harder," says Bad Fairy, chef and co-founder of Bona Sera Supper Club. The chefs go by the pseudonyms of "Bad Fairy" and "Wonder Woman" because health department regulations require those serving meals to over 70 persons to use licensed kitchen facilities. The underground dinners attract about 60-75 people, on average.
"We figured, we enjoy doing it and if we could get the café going we'd have a great place to actually work in a licensed kitchen and get our dinners done. And we just love cooking. It's an opportunity to cook full-time," she adds.
Bona Sera Café will have 40-50 seats and be open from about 11-9, Tuesday through Saturday. Sunday hours are being considered. Two or three people will be hired to start with. The menu will have many of the supper club faves: Tom yum shrimp and grits, flatbreads, antipasto, Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches, soup, fresh pastas.
The cafe is breaking bread with a lot of other new and revamped restaurants in Ypsi's downtown. "Beezy's is just around the corner, and we love Beezy's. There also appears to be a lot of activity on that block of Michigan." She adds Red Rock Downtown Barbecue and the redone Wolverine Deli to the list.
And Ypsi is flexible in terms of allowable culinary business venues. Bad Fairy wants to keep the option for a food truck on the table, and thus considered Ann Arbor, but the city has "some pretty heavy restrictions on things like vended food," she says. "We checked with Ann Arbor, and Ann Arbor nixed it."
The Bona Sera Cafe's opening doesn't mean sundown for the eponymous supper club. Bad Fairy says the clandestine dinners, the proceeds of which go to various local charities, will still be held at least quarterly.
Source: Bad Fairy, chef and co-founder, Bona Sera Supper Club and Bona Sera Café
Writer: Tanya Muzumdar