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Thursday, December 21, 2006

A Cafe for North Collinwood

Posted By on Thu, Dec 21, 2006 at 12:59 PM

Hungry North Collinwood residents, workers, and hipsters heading to the Beachland Ballroom won't go without sustenance much longer. Baker and businessman Michael Feigenbaum, owner of longtime Cleveland bakery Lucy's Sweet Surrender, will open Cafe Marika at 15601 Waterloo Rd., soon after the holidays. Named for Feigenbaum's wife and business partner, the eatery — nestled into space owned by the nonprofit Arts Collinwood organization -- has been in the works for more than a year. (We're told that renovations, mostly managed via volunteer muscle, have been slow going.) Still, the delay hasn't dimmed supporters hopes that the cafe, connected by a passageway to the organization's fine-arts gallery, will play an important part in efforts to revitalize the historic 'hood. Featuring baked goods from Lucy's, freshly roasted beans from Kokopelli Coffee and Tea, locally grown foodstuffs from North Union Farmers Market, and a liquor license by February, Feigenbaum says that, initially, the cafe will offer three distinct personas. "In the morning, we'll feature pastries and coffee; at lunch, it will be salads, homemade soups, and sandwiches on our own breads. And in the evening, once the liquor license comes through, we'll have a full bar. Which one of those ultimately becomes the most popular, our customers will let us know." Still stinging from the failure, a few years back, of a similar business on Shaker Square, the indefatigable Feigenbaum is nevertheless full of enthusiasm. "Our concept is very simple. We're going for comfort, with a menu board and counter service — nothing fancy. But with all the arts, music, and entertainment buzz building in the neighborhood, we really believe this can be a good thing." -- Elaine T. Cicora

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