KALAMAZOO, Mich. — After much uncertainty during the pandemic that it would have to close its doors permanently, a restaurant in West Michigan reopened on Friday.
"Sometime in mid-April we decided we could figure it out," said Food Dance Cafe owner and executive chef Julie Stanley.
After seven long, dark months Food Dance Cafe reopened its doors on Friday.
It's a decision the owner, Julie Stanley, didn't think would be possible just a couple of months ago.
"We were able to find some money from some PPP loans and the restaurant recovery fund. When we were granted that we knew we had a path," said Stanley.
Like many other businesses, the changing of restrictions and reopening and closing back down was financially hard, especially the way the restaurant is run. They place food orders from local vendors and cook most of their food from scratch.
"Because we butcher, because we make our own bread, because we make all of our own pastries, because we run a staff of about 10 to 12 people in the back of house, we can’t just bring some of them back. It takes a whole team to make all of that work," said Stanley.
With a new chef, the restaurant now has some new menu items alongside old favorites. The same is true with the staff, a mixture of the familiar and unknown.
The operation will be slightly smaller to keep the focus on good service.
"We are only opening our main floor here. We have further seating down in what we call our ballroom and tangos. We are not opening those. We want to make sure we have the level of service, we feel good with before we are doing any type of expansion, said Stanley.
From thinking they couldn't reopen to now, Stanley said she hopes this is the last time they have to do this ever again.
"We are so happy that we have so much support from our community so that is really great. It is really going to be fabulous. We just have a road to go," said Stanley.
Food Dance Cafe reopened on Friday at 11 a.m.
The restaurant will be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays with reduced hours other days. Click here for more information.
As of right now, the restaurant is not able to offer private dining room reservations or catering pick-ups and deliveries.