Meli owner to open the Crepe Cafe next door
Downtown restaurateur Llazar Konda will open a new eatery next door to Meli, 294 W. Main St., the Mediterranean restaurant he opened at the Five Points about a year and a half ago.
The venture will be called the Crepe Cafe and will not be connected to Meli, Konda said during a Nov. 3 interview. He added that he hopes to have the restaurant open sometime in December.
"I always wanted a crepes place," Konda said.
The Crepe Cafe, 290 W. Main St., will be a breakfast, "brunch" and lunch eatery, primarily serving light, healthy food, coffee, fresh juices and a variety of desserts.
"Nothing fried," Konda said.
Konda, who's Greek, wants the restaurant to have a smaller, European feel. The building was the former home of chef Jeff Oberholtzer's Smokey O's sandwich shop.
The building, when renovated, will seat about 40 to 50 people, Konda said, and will operate with about five employees, including Konda.
Outdoor seating during the warmer months is planned.
The inspiration for the venture derives partly from Konda's personal life – he said he and his wife, Alyssa, had their first date at a crepe restaurant.
In fact, Alyssa Konda, who owns the Reaching Treetops yoga studio about a block south of Meli, came up with the Crepe Cafe name.
"Make sure you put that in your story," she joked to a reporter.
Hours of operation
Konda said he plans to operate the Crepe Cafe from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. every day, and reopen from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays "for the evening crowd."
Konda said he still has every intention of staying involved in the day-to-day operations at Meli as well. Splitting his time between the two restaurants won't be a problem, he added.
"You always find time for what you're passionate about," he said.
He also said he knew that whatever his next venture would be, he wanted it to be based in Waukesha. A big selling point for the Crepe Cafe was that it was "just one step away" from Meli.
"I can't go anywhere else (besides Waukesha)," Konda said. "I love this city. We can bring this city back to life."