BUSHWICK — After two years bouncing among flea markets, private homes, cafes and other restaurants' kitchens, Bushwick's popular vegan Ethiopian pop-up eatery is settling into a permanent home with plans to redesign the space and host live performances.
Bunna Cafe will open its location at 1084 Flushing Ave., the former home of Mama Joy's, in January, co-founder Sam Saverance said. He had been searching for the perfect spot for months to serve Bunna's hot savory dishes, Ethiopian cocktails and roast its own coffee beans.
"For us, the founders, this announcement is the climax to an epic creative journey," Saverance said in an email. "During the past two years, Bunna Cafe has become a way of life. We have put our livelihoods into this project because we see it as something that is organic, something that has a personality — and as something that can grow and create positive change in our environment and in the world."
The eatery has been serving diner at the Flushing Avenue location since July but will undergo a complete renovation in December and have a grand opening in late January, he said. The restaurant is fundraising through Indiegogo to make enhancements to the space, and the exact date of the opening has not yet been determined.
Saverance plans to build a "traditional Ethiopian hut frame" around a small stage against one wall of the restaurant to hold a traditional coffee ceremony, which includes roasting the beans and lighting incense that wafts throughout the room. The stage will also host live music acts and other performances, he added.
Saverance will also be redesigning the interior to have more of an "organic" feel with greenery and wood, and he plans to transform the building's backyard into a dining and event space, he said.
"We will have an expanded menu of Ethiopian dishes, along with homemade injera (including gluten-free injera)," Saverance said of the traditional flat bread. "We will have our famous pureed juices and spiced tea, and coffee fresh roasted and brewed on site. We will have a bar with Ethiopian beers, cocktails, and Tej, Ethiopian honey wine."
But even as Bunna settles into Flushing Avenue, Saverance said the eatery would not lose its pop-up element.
"We will continue to pop up around the city, even when we have a permanent base," he said.