(photo from bunnaethiopia.net)

The neighborhood cried when our favorite source of shrimp and grits, Mama Joy’s announced its closing last month. This sad news brought one positive aspect – rumors had it that Bunna Cafe, the wandering Ethiopian restaurant famed in Bushwick and beyond, was possibly going to take over the space. And we’re happy to announce that Bunna Cafe officially lost its pop-up status and they are calling 1084 Flushing Avenue in Bushwick home from now on!

Sam Severance and Liyuw Ayalew, founders of Bunna, wrote in a press release earlier today:

For over 2 years, Bunna Cafe has introduced Ethiopian cuisine, coffee, and culture all over NYC as a popup restaurant. Today, we are happy to announce that Bunna Cafe is going permanent as a full-service restaurant, bar, and cafe at 1084 Flushing Avenue in Bushwick — the first Ethiopian restaurant in North Brooklyn and Queens area.

For us, the founders, this announcement is the climax to an epic creative journey. 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. We have grown from an unfunded idea to a fully equipped restaurant, a crew of thousands of supporters, and money in the bank through dozens upon dozens of popup events. We are boldened by the progress of the past two years, but we are also focused on continuing to grow and expand as a restaurant and as an active part of our community.

For the next month Bunna Cafe will perform improvements on the 1084 Flushing space to give it the warm, intimate aesthetic that we are known for. To fully finance these improvements, we are launching a crowdfunding campaign through Indiegogo for the next two months. This will help us build a second bathroom, redesign the bar space, renovate the walls and ceilings, design a hut and stage for the coffee ceremony and small music groups, purchase new furniture, and create a more inviting storefront. Details on the campaign and rewards are available here: http://igg.me/at/bunnacafe

Bunna Cafe will launch in late January with a grand opening party. Details to come. In the meantime we will introduce takeout and delivery in late December. We will have an expanded menu of Ethiopian dishes, along with homemade injera (including gluten-free injera). 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. And of course, we will continue to pop up around the city even when we have a permanent base. Our main popup location will be at the new Winter Flea hosted by Brooklyn Flea/Smorgasburg, Saturdays and Sundays 10 to 7, for the duration of the winter and into the spring.

We encourage people to get on our weekly mailing list (http://bit.ly/bunnaemails), or to follow us on facebook (http://facebook.com/bunnacafe), twitter (@drinkbunna), or instagram (@bunnacafe). We will post regular updates on our grand opening and future events through these outlets.

From our hearts, we say: Enamesegenalen. Thank You. We have been surrounded with people that legitimize the inspiration we both find in Bunna Cafe. We look forward to wining and dining them in our new home.


And we all can learn a valuable lesson from Bunna. Don’t wait for the perfect conditions to make your dreams come true. Simply start doing what you love. You don’t need an investment or family money. Start with what you have – may that be a pop-up restaurant or a small business – give all your heart into what you do, and the rest will follow!