Over the last week or so, Queen Village has seen two new eateries open their doors, both of which have been a very long time coming. Unfortunately, one of them will likely have a much tougher road than the other. So let's consider the tougher one first, eh?
We first looked at the building at the southeast corner of 3rd & Catharine back in the summer of 2011, when we told you that a software company had moved out of the retail space on the first floor, and we wondered what kind of business would take over. The design of the building doesn't necessarily scream out for retail, but when you consider the fact that Dimitri's and New Wave Cafe also share the intersection, at least the location is quite solid. We'd have argued for a Tiffin location, personally.
By 2013, we'd learned that a coffee shop and crepe place would be opening in the space, even though some of the neighbors weren't thrilled about the concept. That didn't happen until a few months ago. The initial business, Cyber Crepe Cafe, only lasted a few months and has now been replaced by the amazingly named Queen Village Cafe. The new business will take a Turkish angle, and their menu will be growing in the coming weeks. With copious other coffee options in the immediate area, this place will live or die based on said menu, so let's hope it grows quickly.
Around the corner, at 780 S. 2nd St., Royal Izakaya opened their doors last week. Finally. Roughly six years after plans first emerged for this establishment. We most recently checked in on Royal Izakaya at the end of 2013, with a post titled Royal Izakaya Finally on the Horizon? and that post alone referenced two previous posts on the subject. So yeah, it's been a long time coming.
With an utter lack of signage, you can't necessarily tell that a restaurant has returned to this space, but we assure you that Royal Sushi & Izakaya is indeed open for business. Like the Queen Village Cafe around the corner, the menu is still coming into form and will change and expand in the coming weeks, according to Michael Klein. Unlike the cafe, Royal Izakaya will likely be an immediate hit, both because its a unique concept for the neighborhood and due to the fact that we've been waiting for the place to open for so many years. Here's to hoping that both businesses can crush it for many years to come.