Polka Pops Cafe Grand Opening
Grand Rapids will finally have an authentic Polish restaurant when the Polka Pops Cafe opens November 11. The new West Side eatery operated by That Polish Girl Catering will be located in the Marc Stewart's Guest House space at 638 Stocking NW.
Owner Laura Szczpanek hopes to revive Polish tradition with a menu that will feature homemade items like golabki, pierogies and kapusta, as well as pork chop suey, lamb cakes and czarnina, a traditional soup.
On Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., customers will be able to walk up to the window, order and sit inside the Guest House space that seats up to 300. The setup will be similar to Fifth Street Hall during Pulaski Days, which Szczpanek has catered for the past six years.
Szczpanek is planning on an official grand opening in January with a polka band, and depending on demand, will expand the hours of service to weekday evenings.
Szczpanek has deep ties not only to her Polish heritage, but also to Grand Rapids. Her grandmother immigrated to GR from Poland and worked as a caterer at Kosciuszko Hall and shopped at Frank's Market. Many of Szczpanek's recipes come directly from her grandmothers' cookbook (written in Polish) and would've previously required a trip to Hamtramck or Chicago to taste.
Most of the entrees at the Polka Pops Cafe will be priced at about $10 or less, including the Polish dinner. Szcpanek is also hoping to sell pre-made items that customers can take home to heat and eat.
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