Health-Focused Café Bon Appetit to Expand from University District to Coventry

Yesterday we broke the news that Winking Lizard would be leaving Coventry Road next fall after almost 20 years. Today we get to announce the imminent arrival of a health-focused café with a proven track record.

Unless you live, study or work near the campus of Cleveland State University, you likely haven’t heard of Café Bon Appetit (1900 Euclid Ave., 216-696-8511,

But for almost five years the small shop has been dispensing juices and smoothies, salads, sandwiches and wraps, and sweet and savory crepes to an appreciative following. Soon, they will open a second location in Cleveland Heights, near the entrance to the old Centrum Theatre.

Jade and Jay Novak, the husband-and-wife owners, didn’t start out in the restaurant business. She is a biology professor, while he is a civil engineer. But they both have a passion for healthy food, and they saw a gap in the marketplace that they believed they could fill.

“We love eating organic, and we really support the concept of being friendly to the Earth and being friendly to yourself by eating good food,” explains Jade. “That’s what really got us inspired to open the café.”

As for their particular location by the university, Jade adds, “We saw that there weren’t a lot of budget-friendly healthy options for students and faculty in the area.”

Jade says that it took some time, but they eventually established Café Bon Appetit as a place to go for good, wholesome, affordable food.

“When we first opened, we had to build trust,” she says. “We were a new store with a lot of chain restaurants around us. It took us a while to establish ourselves as a place serving fresh, organic food that’s good for you.”

Like the original, the Cleveland Heights spot will be an all-day café serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. It is very vegan- and vegetarian-friendly, and it serves no fried foods. In the morning, folks come in for coffee, breakfast sandwiches or a complete meal with eggs, french toast and bacon for less than $6. Lunch and dinner brings a wide roster of salads and Mediterranean-themed sandwiches and wraps filled with organic meats and veggies. Crepes are made to order with ingredients like Nutella or ham, eggs and cheese. Most items are priced between $5 and $8.

The 20-seat café will increase in size come spring and summer when a front patio offers sidewalk seating.

For the Novaks, this location was always in the cards.

“We live in Cleveland Heights and we’ve always had our eyes on Coventry,” Jade says. “That corner location is a perfect little spot for us. We’re very excited.”

Look for Café Bon Appetit (2767 Euclid Hts. Blvd.) to open in three to four weeks.

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Douglas Trattner

For 20 years, Douglas Trattner has worked as a full-time freelance writer, editor and author. His work on Michael Symon's "Carnivore," "5 in 5" and “Fix it With Food” have earned him three New York Times Best-Selling Author honors, while his longstanding role as Scene dining editor garnered the award of “Best...
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