Redbird 2017-04-29 091
Local News

Farm-to-table Redbird Cafe to open Monday in downtown Homewood

The slow food, farm-to-table movement has found its way to downtown Homewood. 

Redbird Cafe at 2057 Ridge Road will open Monday, May 1, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony slated for 10 a.m. Tuesday, May 2. 

 

  Working to prepare coffee and tea at the soft opening 
  Saturday of Redbird Cafe are, from left, Jordan, 
  Clifford and Reilly. The cafe officially opens Monday, 
  May 1.
(Photos by Eric Crump/H-F Chronicle)
 

The slow food, farm-to-table movement has found its way to downtown Homewood. 
Redbird Cafe at 2057 Ridge Road will open Monday, May 1, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony slated for 10 a.m. Tuesday, May 2. 

The restaurant’s mission is summed up in the name of founder Kim Nolen’s company, Local Folkus. Local food for local people. 
 

  Redbird Cafe founder and 
  owner Kim Nolen works in 
  the kitchen Saturday 
  morning. 

 

The idea has been percolating in Nolen’s mind for more than a decade, she said during an interview with the Chronicle last fall. She envisioned a place that offered healthy, locally produced food. She hoped that fare would be the magnet to attract and shape a sense of community. 

Now the vision has taken form, and during the cafe’s soft opening Friday and Saturday, Nolen unveiled the space she designed to be a bit quirky, with an urban sensibility but welcoming and comfortable. 

The walls are adorned with work by local artists, including a photo display by Homewood artist Annie Lawrence, and a set of drawings and paintings by Erin McLeod of Tinley Park. A display along the west side of the hallway is devoted to work by Homewood-Flossmoor High School students. 
 

  The back hallway floor 
  advises patrons to “eat 
  good food.”

 

Most of the tables include something interesting under glass tops. One table includes a word search made of an array of Scrabble pieces. Among the words that can be found are “redbird,” “organic,” “Homewood” and “food.” Another table includes a map of Chicago. Chairs are covered with coffee bean sack material from Cafe Copan, a fair trade Honduran coffee exporter. 

There is one long table, the top filled with pennies and a sign that says “Community table.” The idea is for individuals or small groups to sit at the long table, which might eventually include a mix of strangers  an opportunity to meet new friends over a meal. 

It’s an uncommon practice in the American restaurants but one Nolen hopes will catch on. 

Like the art, the food is local, too. 

“As challenging as it can sometimes be, everything has been locally sourced from within 150 miles of Homewood,” she said. 

The menu has a breakfast/brunch emphasis for now. Nolen said dinner hours and dishes might be added later. There are four breakfast bowls, with eggs and various vegetables on beds of greens. 

The “this & that” section of the menu offers breakfast tacos, Pure Prairie Waffles (jalapeno cornbread waffles with honey and topped with eggs) and biscuits and gravy. 
There are grilled breakfast sandwiches and a children’s section, too. 

Redbird Cafe will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. 
 


Related stories: 

More information:

  The long community table in Redbird Cafe is intended 
  to encourage people to make new acquaintances 
  over a meal. 

 

 

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