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Bunna Café Premieres their Gorgeous New Space; Still Awaits Liquor License

Six short weeks after Mama Joy’s gave up the ghost, Bunna Café has set up permanent shop at 1084 Flushing Ave

All photos by Katarina Hybenova for Bushwick Daily

Six short weeks after Mama Joy’s gave up the ghost, Bunna Café has set up permanent shop at 1084 Flushing Ave. They’ll be slingin’ their usual scrumptious, vegan, Ethiopian fare from 11AM to 10PM every goshdarn day. The menu offers a wide selection of weird little finger goods, and for $8 you can try four of them, plus injera (the traditional Ethiopian flatbread that serves as your utensil). Or have a feast and try seven dishes for only $12.

Bunna has seriously jazzed up this space with cool Ethiopian decorations.

Bunna has been popping up all over the place for a couple years now, and they had been selling week-day lunch at Mama Joy’s for a couple of months. Coupling that with appearances at Pine Box Rock Shop and Smorgasburg, they quickly gathered up a strong and loyal following. And it’s not hard to see why: the flavorful dishes are all vegan, and, as a certified carnivore, it’s always a delight to find meals that not only satisfy my greedy, Western palate, but also treat my body good.

The traditional coffee ceremony.

Although the spirit of Mama Joy’s lingers in the long, narrow, dimly lit restaurant, Bunna has the gumption and the warmth to make the place very much its own. They’ve set up a beautiful stage for the intricate Ethiopian coffee ceremony that inspired their name. They repainted the walls in rich blues and oranges. And gorgeous Ethiopian scarves hang on the walls.

Bunna's new home is warm, inviting, spacious, and well-furnished.

Although the idea of a permanent space was always in mind, the closing of Mama Joy’s inspired Sam Saverance, the owner, to jump into action. “It’s kind of difficult to look for a space, while doing the pop up,” he said. But when the space he was already popping up in became available, it seemed ideal.

These beautiful wood wall-hangings house the vessels used for the coffee ceremonies.

Bunna is a little off the beaten path, and with this kind of weather, it can be hard to muster up the courage to wander. But stepping into their new home will immediately warm your soul, and the combination of nutritious and delicious won’t disappoint. And seriously, spring for the three layer juice, it’ll knock your socks off! Also, keep an eye out, because big things are on the horizon for Bunna: they will be offering a full bar soon (with honey wine!), and delivery before long. To help Bunna get their liquor license and many other beautiful and delicious things, donate in their IndieGogo campaign; they have five days left and still over $6,000 to reach their goal.

Everything is Eshi. In the Amharic language, ‘eshi’ can be roughly translated as meaning ‘good.’ The word is ubiquitous in Amharic conversations: providing the sort of linguistic beat that ‘like’ or ‘okay’ or ‘right’ does in American English.

Bunna Café is now open from 11 AM to 10 PM seven days a week. They are located at 1084 Flushing Avenue.

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