bonbon pastry and cafe to open in market district

Pastry chef Courtney Bonning plans to open Bonbon Pastry and Café this summer in the former Athens Bakery shop at W. 26th and Lorain Avenue, further boosting available food offerings in Ohio City.

"We'll be opening a full bakery that will serve fresh, handmade croissants and desserts as well as a European-style café," says Bonning. "You'll be greeted by beautifully prepared items when you walk in the door, all priced below $15."

Bonning worked in Napa Valley, Seattle and the Cleveland Ritz-Carlton before launching her own bakery a couple years back in Detroit Shoreway. She was inspired to make the leap to the new 2,000-square-foot storefront after witnessing the momentum of the Market District. The new businesses popping up around the West Side Market will help drive traffic to her café, she says.

Bonbon will also serve a brunch-style menu featuring sandwiches, salads, small plates and egg-based dishes. In the summer months, tables and chairs on Lorain will transform it into a sidewalk café. It will be open from 6:30 a.m. until 9 p.m.

Bonning is especially excited about the businesses opening in the adjacent United Bank Building, which is owned by MRN Ltd., the developers of East Fourth Street and Uptown in University Circle. Penzeys Spices opened last year, and this summer, Crop will open its new location.

"We fell in love with the historic bank lobby, a gorgeous space with high ceilings, and we're sold by MRN's commitment to changing the neighborhood," says Jackie Schimoler, co-owner of Crop with her husband Steve. "It's a great location."

Next door to the restaurant, the Crop Shop will feature fresh, locally grown food such as heirloom tomatoes or specialty sausages used in Crop's dishes. Schimoler envisions it as a separate venture that feeds the restaurant, and vice-versa. "Whatever product we don't sell at the market, we'll just use at the restaurant."

Source: Courtney Bonning, Jackie Schimoler
Writer: Lee Chilcote